My thoughts (Brent Walsh):
Sometimes the “kingdom of God” seems like something afar off, over the distant horizon on the shores of an unseen paradise somewhere. Each of us might conjure up different images in our minds of what the kingdom of God is like, but Jesus said something mysterious in the parable of the mustard seed. It starts out small, small enough to hold in the palm of your hand. The tiniest of all seeds, in fact; and when you plant it in the ground, it might well be forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind, and covered in dirt where it might never see the light of day again. Not a towering skyline of might and power as we might imagine, but a tiny, vulnerable, little seed left to defend itself against the crushing earth that surrounds it.
Then the magic happens. The seed breaks open, and new life emerges from the darkness. Tiny arms push through the dirt as if swimming toward the surface of a pool. It bursts into the sunshine and inhales the spring air. It soaks up the energy from the sun and drinks the nectar of the rain. With each passing day it gets stronger and more determined to reach the sky. When it does, even the birds are comforted in its branches.
That is the analogy that Jesus used to describe the kingdom of God. Quite a different picture than those we might have imagined before. Suddenly it seems that the kingdom of God is not off on some distant horizon, but right here in our own back yard. The things that you do just because they are the right thing to do, the compassion you offer people who don’t deserve it, the kind acts you perform that seem to be lost on those who receive them, as lost as the mustard seed in the dark earth . . . these are the things that make up the kingdom of God. They break open and push through the crushing earth until they find daylight, and then grow beyond our expectations into refuges for God’s creation.
Thought for the day: Stop looking to the sky for the kingdom of God, and start recognizing that, just like the mustard seed, you have an active part in it right now.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.