Move over, mustard seed! (17-12-20)
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches. (Matthew 13: 31-32)
As we travelled last week along the A34 dual carriageway towards Winchester, I looked (responsibly, because I was driving) across to the north bound carriageway and noticed on the verge a pile of yellow apples underneath a young tree.
The tree was not at a lay-by, and the pile of apples was quite close to the carriageway. I mentioned it to my passenger, who surmised who might have planted it there. The answer seems obvious – not planted but grown from a discarded apple core.
Our hearts immediately went out to the tree! Struggling against exhaust fumes, traffic vibration and wind turbulence, it had grown over the years until maturing to produce fruit in an abundance. A simple apple seed doesn’t give up. But would anyone, apart from us, notice or appreciate its efforts?
It reminded us of the anxiety we feel when we hope that non-believing family and friends may yet develop a faith. Would a word that we have mentioned in our conversation yet find root and flourish, even in the most unlikely of circumstances?
The young apple tree beside the A34 near Winchester suggests ‘Yes, it can.’ And it will, even though we are not there to watch it happening. On the journey towards faith, the Holy Spirit takes over, and does not give up either.
Jesus used the parable of the mustard seed to show that the Kingdom has small beginnings but will grow and produce great results. I have not seen a mustard tree, but I can vouch for a young apple tree on the A34 near Winchester.
Drop the seed, and let God do the rest!
Dear Lord Jesus,
May you please put the right words into our mouths,
And may we trust in the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit.