Thursday, June 22, 2006

Like a Mustard Seed

"What shall we say the kindom of God is like?....It is like a mustard seed.....when it is planted, it grows and becoms the largest of all the garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade."

People in farm country know that the mustard is a weed. It is from the family Cruciferae, so named because their 4 petals form a cross. There are 138 species in our area.

We don't know which species Jesus had in mind, but we don't have one here that grows into a bush.

Our pastor pointed out that Jesus often turned conventional wisdom up side down, and in this case, we could conclude from the context of the previous section of the Gospel of Mark that Jesus may have been saying, "The kingdom of God is like a weed." The seed sprouts and grows even though the farmer doesn't know how.

We need to plant the good seed, but God through the Spirit grows it, and then we need to be ready for the harvest.
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  1. Say, Proclaiming, I'm remembering your search for cruciform plants. The mustard's flower fits the bill!

    Great thoughts on the mustard seed parable. I can just hear it now:

    "The mustard seed? What use is that? Can this rabbi really see anything about God's kingdom in that old weed? Oh...yeah. I get it! Who'da thought?"

  2. This one is lovely. Now I'm going to start looking too.

  3. The dogwood blossom has a legend about it. Each of the four petals has a blood-colored indentation on the center edge. It has a cluster of (whatever those things are--NOT a botanist here!) that together resemble the crown of thorns. There's even an old legend about the Lord's cross being made of dogwood. The tree was so sorrowful at having been put to such shameful use that Christ, in pity, caused all future dogwood trees to have gnarled, crooked trunks and branches so that they might never again become instruments of torture.


And what do you think?