Our Gospel this week is Mark 4:26-34, taken today from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).

And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.” With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.

God’s plan for us is vast and all-inclusive, but at the same time simple and personal. He cares about His entire creation as a whole, but Jesus tells us “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father” (Matthew 10:29). It is hard for us to understand from our human point of view, but Jesus in His kindness and wisdom uses parables to teach us.

We see how seeds grow quietly, striving to rise through the soil, seeking the light. Jesus calls us to such a faith, breaking through our doubt and disbelief to connect with God. If God has a plan for seeds, how much more are His children planned and cared for?

Like the mustard seed, our faith and ministry to others may seem small, but God blesses our efforts and leads us to grow. He calls us to be part of what He is doing in the world and in eternity. Listen to the lessons we are given, learn and apply them, and like small seeds we may grow to share God’s glory.

Loving Lord, all our gifts are from You and we are thankful to be so blessed. May we use what we have been given to show our love for You and each other. Amen.

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