He also said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come." He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
An image comes to mind every time I read this parable. Have you ever seen one of those time-lapse films of a plant growing and expanding out of the earth. It seems as if time is shooting by because first you have only soil, then a sprout, then a stem and leaves, and it gets larger faster and before you know it you have this amazing plant before you. With time-lapse photography we get to see all the stages of growth in a very short amount of time. I think that Jesus chose wisely with this parable because the kingdom of God is among us, entering into this world, but at a pace quite unlike time-lapse. It is arriving at a slow pace. Every time a person hears the good news message of Jesus, the kingdom advances. Every time a person receives the grace of God, the kingdom advances. It's our job as children of God to further the Kingdom by sharing the good news of Christ Jesus.
Gracious God, help me to be brave enough to share your good news with others. Amen
Pastor Joel Martyn
Hope Lutheran Church of the Sierra