I thought I would share with you the worship that we had at a recent Messy Church which focused on the Parable of the Mustard Seed and Yeast in Matthew 13: 31-35.
The story is one of Jesus’ famous seed stories, but I wonder what he was talking about? As we know, the stories were called parables and they always got everyone talking, wondering, puzzling, discussing and even sometimes disagreeing. And that can still be said today.
Jesus was often talking about the kingdom of God or of heaven – the place where God was king. But I wonder what it was like? To explain it Jesus told this story.
The kingdom is like a tiny mustard seed. The smallest seed that Jesus could think of was a mustard seed and they come in different colours: brown, yellow or black. And they produce all sorts of mustard:
Spicy? Dijon? Champagne Mustard? Coarse Mustard? Wholegrain Mustard?
I wonder which mustard you are?
Someone took the seed and planted it in the earth, and then the small, tiny seed began to grow. First it became a huge mustard seed plant, then a small shrub, then a small tree and finally a large mustard tree with branches spreading out far and wide.
Look at the garden. There are mustard trees everywhere and if we look we can see that they’re all different – tall, stumpy, wobbly, bendy, misshapen or wide.
This garden is overrun with mustard trees. There’s no room for any flowers anymore. No other plants can grow. The trees have taken over!
Finally, Jesus said that birds arrived and they began perching on the branches looking for places to make their nests and settle down.
Now the garden is not just full of trees but also all sorts of birds, too. And this, said Jesus, is what the kingdom of God is like.
But I wonder what this story is really about? I wonder what the tiny seeds, the huge trees and all those birds have got to do with the kingdom of heaven?
Jesus didn’t tell the people what the story meant, but he allowed the Holy Spirit to prompt the people to discover the meaning for themselves. And that’s what we need to do. We need to let the Holy Spirit prompt us to discover the meaning, not just of this parable but of all sorts of things for ourselves.
Hold a mustard seed between your finger and thumb and thank God, that nothing is too small or unimportant to Him. He cares about the tiniest details of our lives.
Now hold the mustard seed in the palm of your hand and ask Jesus to help us see him at work in our everyday lives; in the events of our week; and in the words and deeds of our neighbour’s.
Finally, hide the seed in your closed hand and ask that by the Holy Spirit, God will grow the love, joy and peace of His kingdom in us and in our communities. Amen
With every blessing.
Taken from the June edition of The Record.