A man walked into a store. He found Jesus behind the counter. He asked, “What do you sell here?” Christ replied, “You name it.” “I want food for all, good health for kids, adequate housing for everyone, and abortion to cease.” Gently Jesus answered, “Friend, I do not sell finished products here, only seeds. You must plant them and water them. I will do the rest.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is again speaking in parables. Parables were Jesus’ favorite way of teaching. He used parables, because parables force you to think. Today Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. Now what is he trying to say? Parables always have multiple meanings. Today I want to suggest to you one possible meaning of the parable of the mustard seed: Jesus is telling us that small things matter.
The parable is very clear on this. The mustard seed is the smallest possible seed. Yet, once it is planted, it grows into a sizeable plant that can give shade to the birds of the air. As we live any day or our life, we should never discount the small things we can do: a word of love or support to our spouse, a few moments to affirm a son or daughter about something they are good at or something that they have achieved, a phone call to a friend who is grieving the death of a loved one, or even a thankful smile instead of a vacant stare as we approach the cashier in the supermarket. These are all small things, tiny things, things that could seem to have no significance. Yet they can be important because God can choose to use them to build up some person in our lives and to increase the goodness around us. We should never discount doing small things in the course of every day.
But neither should we overlook the importance of receiving small things each day. For each day there are people in our lives who give us signs of love and support. How much richer our lives would be if we were open to accept those signs and take them in: the smile of our 3-year-old as we come home from work, the person who breaks to let us into traffic, a friend who says to us, “How are you? How are you really?” All of these are signs that God is using to show us that we are loved and that there are reasons for hope.
Big and flashy things always seem important. But small things matter. Things as little as a mustard seed can shape our lives. We can be the farmer who plants the mustard seed or the soil that receives it—the giver or the receiver. In both cases small things like a mustard seed can make a difference. God uses the small things in our lives to build the kingdom of God.
Another point I want share with you is that don’t allow Satan to lie to you and tell you that you can’t make it and that you will never be good enough. Let God help you and give Him time to help you grow up. Just as you would never a expect a new-born baby to talk and walk like an adult, neither should you expect your spiritual life to be as victorious as that person who has lived for God for many years.
We are all babies in God’s eyes. There is not one of us mature enough in Jesus to say that we don’t need to grow up. A mother and father do not cast out their new born baby for wetting its diaper. They don’t get angry and disown that baby because it trips and falls as it is learning to walk or crawl. They are encouraging and are constantly lifting it up, learning to love that baby more each day because of the process of growing and taking care of its needs. Love only grows stronger with each passing day. God’s love for each of you is much the same except that He loves you as much as He ever will, even before you are born and His love for you cannot be any stronger. Your love for Him will grow – every day you will learn to love Him more. Every day you will grow a little more and your faith will increase a little more.
I want you to know that if that “mustard seed” of faith that you and I have is not cared for and nurtured, it will die just as surely as a new-born baby will die if it is not fed, changed and cared for constantly. We must feed that faith through study of the Word of God, prayer and keeping a close watch out for anything that will come into our life that will injure our faith. You and I have to give yourself time to grow in the Lord. Every day, little by little, trial by trial we will become stronger in the faith and our life will become more victorious in Christ.