Mark 4:26-34 (NRSV)
Verse 26He also said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, Verse 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. Verse 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. Verse 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come."
Verse 30He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? Verse 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; Verse 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."
Verse 33With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; Verse 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
How can something so little provide so much? A tiny little mustard seed grows into something that puts forth branches so that the birds can build their nests in its shade. Sometimes we think that what we have to offer isn’t enough. Quilting groups are abundant in many places, often meeting in churches where they provide quilts for organizations such as Lutheran World Relief. Some of the smallest churches provide the largest numbers of quilts, but it’s when all of those groups put their resources together that the impact is truly seen. More than a quarter million quilts are donated to Lutheran World Relief each year, providing warmth and shelter for people all over the world. How can one little quilt or one little mustard seed provide so much? The kingdom of God is like a tiny little mustard seed—like one little quilting group, like one little congregation, willing to see what God can do with what we have to offer.
Open our eyes, Lord, to see what we have been given, to see what we might give and what you might make from it. Give us faith to see, not just the seed, but the shrub it will become. Amen.