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If the growing seed parable seems to be about the mystery of kingdom growth, the mustard seed image is about the apparent weakness of the kingdom. The day will come when the results of the kingdom’s silent, steady growth will be impressive. Meanwhile don’t be surprised if the seeds you plant look ineffective. Don’t be surprised if the witness you have to offer gets laughed at on account of looking so puny. It’s the old “Jack and the Beanstalk” fable: Jack’s mother scorns the tiny beans he brings home from the market. They can never live off those! So in anger she hurls them out the window. Those beans were a non-starter, a mistake, a dead-end nutritionally and in every other sense. Except that, of course, they ended up sprouting into a beanstalk that went, in a way, clear up to heaven.
It seems every night now if you turn on the nightly news you get a strong dose of Boko Haram, ISIS, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Hamas and other politico-religioun-oriented terrorist organizations exploding bombs, beheading those who refuse to convert to their faith, kidnapping, raping, plundering…and it seems that the entire world is moving their direction.
I recently received a link to an animation that I think you may find reassuring. Do you remember what Jesus said: how he would build his church and the gates of hell wouldn’t prevail against it? The story of the mustard seed sure makes the kingdom seem small and weak, doesn’t it?
Don’t despair. Be encouraged! Jesus knew what he was talking about because he knows how this will all end!
Check out this video that shows the spread of Christianity since the time of Christ. It also shows Islam and other world empires as they appear and disappear from the map…
PRAYER: Let us take heart, Lord, and be encouraged by your words of certainty about your kingdom and the end of all things! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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