The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. 

The sesame seed on your bagel is about three times the size of a mustard seed.   Yet from such a tiny seed springs a bush that can grow almost two stories high.   The size of the seed doesn’t determine its ultimate increase, and that is the point about the kingdom of God that Jesus wants us to understand today.   It’s God who makes his kingdom grow and increase.   He is the One who causes it to spread and develop from his people’s seeds of small acts of love and kindness.   It’s like the way Mother Teresa loved to talk about “doing small things with great love.”

So where do we start?   For most of us, those small seeds will be planted in our families first.   Little acts of thoughtfulness, encouragement, and praise, sown and watered with kindness, can flourish in the soil of our closest relationships.   Granted, it can be easy to focus on our family’s faults or failures.   It’s much more challenging to see and highlight the positive.   But ask any farmer, and he’ll tell you that sowing good seeds can be hard work.

So dig in and do it!   Praise your children, for even the smallest acts of obedience.   Thank them even when they’re just doing what you asked.   Tell them the things God thinks about them: they are wonderful, creative, strong, talented, and lovable.   Yield to your spouse’s preference for something, even if it means eating tofu instead of T-bone steak.   With heartfelt love, pick his socks or her towel up off the floor.   Repent (quickly) for thoughtless words, and forgive even more quickly.   These are all mustard seeds of the kingdom of God.

It’s tempting to think we need to do grand and glorious things for the Lord.   And maybe we will.   But they probably will grow from the love and kindnesses, however small, you sow in your home.   After all, words of praise and encouragement, thanks and kindness, are grand and glorious things in and of themselves!

So trust that God will give growth to all the mustard seeds you sow.   Their fruit will become obvious in the ways your relationships open up and in the joy that begins to permeate the atmosphere of your home.

word among us