Thursday, August 18, 2016

Like a Mustard Seed

Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
But honesty, called from her cell,
in splendor in my courts shall dwell.
Who virtue's practice make their care,
shall have my choicest blessings there.
—Psalm 101:6
Suggested tune: Duke Street (LM)

What is the kingdom of God like, and to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.
—Luke 13:18-19
Here one must observe a peculiarity in our Savior's use of images. His illustrations of his first coming, and of his work of grace, which are many, are all of the homeliest kind. He is a shepherd who seeks one sheep. He is not an eagle that flutters over her young and bears them on her pinions, but a hen who gathers her chickens under her wings. Never once does he rise into that high and poetic strain with which his followers have loved to sing of the star of Bethlehem, and which Isaiah lavished beforehand upon the birth of the Prince of Peace. There is no language more intensely concentrated and glowing than he has employed to describe the judgment of the hypocrites who rejected him, of Jerusalem, and of the world at last. But when he speaks of his first coming and its effects, it is not of that sunrise to which all kings and nations shall hasten, but of a little grain of mustard seed, which is to become greater than all the herbs, and put forth great branches, so that the birds of the heaven could lodge under their shadow. When one thinks of such an image for such an event, of the founding of the kingdom of God, and its advance to universal supremacy, represented by the small seed of a shrub which grows to the height of a tree, and even harbors birds, he is conscious almost of incongruity. But when we reconsider it, we are filled with awe and reverence. For this exactly expresses the way of thinking natural to One who has stooped immeasurably down to the task which all others feel to be so lofty.
 —G.A. Chadwick
You have planted faith within my heart, O God. Though it be as small as a mustard seed, water it by your grace and help it grow into a sheltering love for you and my neighbors, for it is such a love that is the character of your kingdom...
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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