I am cutting back and slowing down in order to spend more time on efforts like this. Our grandson William headed home today after several days with us. He is such a joy. I love the innocence of youth.
Here is yesterdays sermon. I will write more on it tomorrow because I made some major changes.
Seventh Sunday Pentecost
Once again we are visited by the mustard seed. Let me repeat that part of this Gospel Reading, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the field, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
I have done a little research on mustard plants and their seeds. In Jesus time the mustard plant was considered a weed. It was so invasive that it could take over a field. Each plant had hundreds of seeds and it was next to impossible to get rid of once it was established. The seeds could survive for years in the ground so even if you thought you had gotten rid of them one year you could have just as many the next. It was actually illegal to plant mustard seeds. You had to get special permission from the temple priests in order to plant it.
This reminds me of cuckleburs. Many of you are old enough to remember pulling culkurburs in a bean field. My dad paid my brother and I 25 cents an hour to pull cuckulburs which was a lot of money to a kid in the 1950's. Dad always told us if we got all the cuckleburs in the field that year we wouldn't have to do it the next. It never worked out that way.
I am thinking cuckleburs and mustard weed were a lot alike.
So why did Jesus choose the tiny mustard seed for his parable? I think I know. Here was something as humble as this tiny seed. When the seed itself dies, the plant grows quickly up to as high as ten feet. Some people even called it a tree. It becomes a strong bush with a main stalk as thick as your arm and dense enough to be the home for small birds.
Think about that. I think Jesus was giving his followers a picture of how this kingdom of heaven here on earth was going to develop. One humble man, Jesus, was going to die and through his resurrection a movement would grow that would be great enough for people all over the world to call it their home.
I am a testement to that. I traveled all over the world looking for a spiritual home. I found it in that large mustard tree we call Christianity. That is where I placed my nest.