Our Gospel this week is Mark 4:26-34, taken today from the English Standard Version (ESV).
And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
Jesus used parables about nature because it was a familiar subject to most of those listening. He used the parts of God’s creation we can see to help explain the parts we can’t see. This is the reason He came to earth, so we could see in Him God’s love and His plan for us.
It isn’t easy to grasp heavenly concepts and comparing these to earthly things is inadequate. We can’t know the full joy of eternity in our human form, but Jesus taught that it will be more wonderful than anything we can imagine. Knowing God’s love here should energize us to share it and to prepare eagerly for Christ’s return.
While our faith may seem small, and our efforts feeble, God can use us to spread the Good News. We are called to be part of His work here, telling others of His love and mercy. All can be saved and restored through the blessing of Jesus.
Heavenly Father, we offer You our thanks and praise. Help us to share the wonder of Your love and the hope for eternity with You. Amen.