26Jesus said, “The dominion of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, the sower does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once the sower goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
30Jesus also said, “With what can we compare the dominion of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet 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.”
33With many such parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
…I often think that we look for the signs of God’s kingdom in big flashy ways that we overlook the power of the mustard seed and we miss the fact that God, in God’s reign and time, calls forth the growth…
We advance the reign of God each time we participate in these little mustard seed like events, like helping a kid learn to read, or providing clean drinking water, eradicating a disease, creating jobs, alleviating suffering and pain, delivering health care to people. Raising children to become responsible life-enhancing adults – all these little efforts, God uses to grow the kingdom of God. In the same ways, our efforts at peace making, tackling prejudice and discrimination, protecting the environment and working to reduce poverty – are all part of the growth of the kingdom. Because the reign of God is about enhancing people’s lives. Jesus showed us that by healing, forgiving, and giving us resurrection – so that the powers of sin and disease, not even death would be able to stand against us.