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June 13, 2021 

THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

Written by: Jenelle Green

When Pastor left for vacation, he asked if I would help with the service and read the sermon? He did write a little script out for me and said to feel free to “make it my own”. So full discloser I made some adjustments.

Before I made the adjustments, I decided to do some Googling and there seemed like a lot of different “angles” to speak about in today’s lessons.

The common theme that stuck out to me was, starting out small and with only Faith, growing into something big, useful and comforting.

Jesus often teaches in parables, stories that parallel something that exists and is easier for the person listening to understand. Talking in their language sort to speak. In today’s gospel Jesus uses farming/gardening as the language to convey his message.

In the first of the two parables, Jesus says the kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seeds on the ground, he sleeps at night and is awake during the day and the seed sprouts and grows although the man doesn’t know how.  Pause He just has faith, the farmer is not a scientist and doesn’t understand how the seeds grows, he just has faith that when he does the right things God will grow the seed into the needed grain. How many of us do the same thing every day? When I stopped to think about it, there is a lot of things that I do that I rely on my faith to make happen, I have faith that when I push the button on my car it will start and not being a mechanic I don’t really know how it happens. When I need information I connect to the internet, I just click the right buttons and not being a computer scientist, I have no idea how the information travels so quickly to me. Those are just two examples and the more I thought about it the more I realized I do a lot of things that I don’t understand but rely on faith to make them happen. That is the same kind of faith Jesus wants us to have in God. We don’t have to know how he does something or why he does something, we just have to have faith that God and his kingdom is there for us.

In the second parable Jesus asked, “how can we show what the kingdom of God is like? To what can we compare it? It’s a like a mustard seed planted in the ground, the mustard seed is one of the smallest seed on earth however, when planted, it comes up and becomes taller than the garden plants. Pause The obvious lesson is taking something small and growing into something big. But when understanding the mustard bush, the story goes even further. Mustard is an herb that was used for medicinal purposes and was used and still used for flavoring and preserving food. The mustard bush, though, is a garden pest. No one would sow it on purpose. It grows like weeds, and often takes over the field. This bush however, would bring shade and comfort to many of the animals especially birds.

So are we supposed to be the seed? Are we supposed to grow into something big and comforting? Are we supposed to be the birds who have a place of comfort in the kingdom? Is the seed supposed to be our faith? That is the joy of a parables, it can be whichever one you need to be.

When I read it, I thought of us here at Faith. When the church began over 75 years ago, it started as a seed. It slowly with the faith of the people grew into a big mustard bush. However, Faith started to shrink back to just a seed.

In the first reading, Ezekiel God takes a branch from the cedar tree and plants it, and it produces fruit and birds will rest in it. Here God takes a small part of a tree and makes a beautiful new one.

How God can take something small, so insignificant as a twig and grow it into something so magnificent is definitely something I can’t understand and just have to have faith in.

God does this in our lives all the time. He takes something that is small and what we would consider insignificant and turns it into something far greater than we ever could imagine. This happens in our lives all the time.

In the gospel it goes on to say that Jesus was alone with his disciples he explained even more. Pause Jesus hasn’t pulled me away yet and explained everything I have questions on and I assume he hasn’t for you either. So what is the lesson we are supposed to learn from these readings? Regardless if the seed is us, or if the seed is our faith, the lesson seems pretty clear, God takes something small and insignificant and with faith turns it into something big, useful and comforting.

Where do we need to take grow in our lives? Where do we need to grow in our church? What are the small seeds that will grow us into a big bush?

For us at Faith the small seeds, are the friendships, the bible studies, the sewing group, the fellowship, we just have to have faith that God is taking these small seeds and grow them into a great Cedar tree.

And as pastor would say, “All of God’s seedlings say….Amen”