Note: the photo attached to the previous post is me (you figured that out, right?) but I am sitting on what was called “the Moses Seat” in the synagogue, where the person speaking that day would have sat to address the people. It was next to the door – if you came in late to that service, the entire congregation saw you! This was the ruins of the synagogue in Corazim.
Luke 13:18 -19
He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”
When I was in high school, a popular piece of jewelry was a tear-drop shape piece of glass with a mustard seed inside – even though the glass magnified the mustard seed, it was still tiny. It was hard to imagine that such a seed could grow into something large. And yet, when we visited the Holy Land, on the hill overlooking Nazareth, our guide pointed out a large bush with yellow flowers – that was a mustard plant. And each of those flowers could produce multiple seeds – and those seeds, tiny as they were, would be scattered by the wind, or eaten by birds and sown far afield, and new plants would spring up.
And so it is, Jesus says, with the kingdom of God. He planted the first seeds, among his disciples, and among those who came out to hear him. And those seeds would grow, and would change hearts, and those in whom they had been planted would produce fruit – seeds – of their own, and they would take the Word of the Kingdom to others, until is spread around the world, and down through the ages.
Suppose they had taken the seeds they were given and locked them away somewhere, and they had never grown? Jesus tells a story as well about the seeds as they are sown, and where they fall. The point here, however, is that they must be sown. Those who receive have an obligation to spread more seeds. If we do not, the Kingdom, the faith, will die with us. (Actually, I believe and trust that God will raise it up elsewhere – but then we would lose our joy in being a part of the continuing stream.) We cannot just take and never give back, for the plant that does not produce seeds will itself wither and die.
A mustard plant on the hill overlooking Nazareth.