Mark 4: 26-32
The Parable of the Growing Seed
26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth.32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
For Mother’s Day this year, our son brought home a potted plant. With the help of his teacher, he had sown the seeds, and watered it until it grew into a beautiful, lush, green plant. Not only was he fascinated by what happened to those little seeds, he was thrilled about giving it to me. He said to me that he made magic. This is a two-year old’s experience with the birth of a plant.
In some ways I feel the parable of the growing seed and the mustard seed is like magic. Though there is chaos and disorder in this world, there are agents of transformation who can create magic. The seeds that are scattered haphazardly and randomly come to life. It is like the mustard seed whose appearance is insignificant but through the grace of God, it is transformed into a tree of life providing life for birds providing them a home to live. The kingdom of God is a dynamic kingdom. It springs to life even in the haphazardness and chaos of human experiences and with the grace of God, we can create magic and be agents of transformation for justice and peace.
For those with leadership positions in the church, temptation is always to rely so much on our set plans that sometimes we suffocate the dynamism of the kingdom. Even worse, we come to a stage where we think that our plans, our efforts and our agency are the things that bring the kingdom to fruition. Jesus reminds through this parable that God works through us, beside us, with us and all around us, to bring seeds to harvest, yet in a way that is beyond our ways!