RHYTHM: Mildew Kingdom – Luke 13:18-21

lectionary for youth ministry luke 13Wednesday before the 4th Sunday in Lent: Luke 13:18-21

Reading: Luke 13:18-21

Mildew Kingdom

Jesus kept coming back to this idea of kingdom. The beauty of the parable of the mustard seed is that it subtly upsets the standing view of what kind of kingdom the Jews were expecting from anyone they’d recognize as Messiah. They were looking for Rome to be overthrown and for Israel (or at least Judah) to be restored to power in Jerusalem.

But if that was the kind of kingdom Jesus intended to bring, what sort of natural feature might we compare it to? The California redwoods? The Rock of Gibraltar? That’s not the direction that Jesus takes. Not even close.

A mustard seed.

What, Jesus? The kingdom of God is like something that you need around 750 of to make up a gram? What kind of kingdom is that?

Understand; the mustard seed would eventually grow into something quite large. But it started out of something you could write off as insignificant. I’m reminded of the stack of 1960s National Geographic magazines I recently inherited, complete with amazing advertising for “brand new” 1960s automobiles. They’re mildewed. They look like magazines and feel like magazines, but if you spend any amount of time with them, you realize something else is going on there.

They’ve been infiltrated by mildew. I’m not saying that God’s kingdom is a contagion. I’m just suggesting that the ways we attempt to bring God’s kingdom—even today—could benefit long-term from some mustard seed-sized infusion.

For reflection:

Where does your church engage your community like a mustard seed? Where is it trying to drop in like a full-grown tree?

Where are you planting mustard seed opportunities for growth in your own journey?


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