URC Daily Devotion 27 May 2024

Matthew 13: 31-33 

He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field;  it is the smallest of all the seeds, 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.’ He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’

Reflection

When people think of mission, they often divide it into two halves: those aspects concerned with promoting faith (in the original marks of mission, the first two – proclaiming the good news and teaching it), and those aspects about changing the world (or – showing love to people, transforming injustice, and treasuring creation). It’s all mission, but some put more emphasis on one half or the other. In fact, many find the proclaiming/evangelistic dimension more challenging, because they’re not sure what story to tell – sometimes our own experience feels ‘too small’.

But the thing about God’s mission – which inspires our faith and our action to change the world – is that nothing is too small. After all, we should remember that it’s principally the story of the kingdom of God – which is what Jesus spoke about more than anything else. And he told us, in many parables, that God’s kingdom is found in the smallest of things, like yeast, seeds – and the example of children.

In fact, yeast was regarded as unclean – but it illustrates God’s kingdom, mixed in with the dough of ordinary life. And mustard plants were considered a nuisance, a weed, but they grow enough to give shelter to those who are wild. And children, through curiosity, adventure and imagination, show us how to pursue a new world. So small things, small events, small stories have the power to witness to the presence of God’s kingdom which is turning the world upside-down – wherever we hear the groans of creation, or the cries of the oppressed, and respond, or we care for those bruised by life, and build communities of good news. Through all these things, big or small, we have a story to tell and to practise – of God’s new world taking root amongst us.
Small things matter.

Prayer 

This is our story! This is our song!
There are forces in our world
which seem insurmountable,
exploiting creation and the poor,
building walls and waging wars;
they even colonise our minds
to seem inevitable;
but they are undone by the good news of God’s love
even in the smallest, weakest of means,
responding to the groans and the cries,
caring for those bruised
and building communities who dare to pursue
the new horizon. Amen! 

 

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