Two parables are presented by Jesus today in the Gospel of Mark. Both are presenting what the kingdom of God is like, the first presents a man who sows seeds, and the second is a mustard seed that is planted. In both cases the seeds germinate and go through the process of becoming mature plants. The kingdom of God is like these plants in that God works through the smallest of and many times, unnoticed beginnings. Also, God’s timing is not our timing. In our rapid paced world of instant access, we would do well to slow down.
God not only begins small, and on his own timetable, but he is often working beyond the realm of our awareness. This is evident in the first parable offered by Jesus: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how” (Mk 4:26-27). This is not to say that God has set everything in motion and is indifferent or despondent to his creation. Quite the opposite. God has a plan and has been intimately engaged in our life even before our conception. He revealed this truth to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you” (Jeremiah 1:5). God is present to us, in relationship with us, whether we know it or not. He quietly invites us to participate in his plan.
The beauty is that even though God has no need for us, he invites us to know him, to participate in the spreading of his kingdom. Just think of someone who you have, for the longest time, wanted to meet. If the opportunity arose to spend time with that person, how excited would you be? We have the opportunity to do so with the Creator of all that exists, and not just today, or tomorrow, but for all of eternity. He has created us for himself and he invites us to share in his relationship, his work of salvation history in simple and subtle ways. Are we making an effort to be aware, are we willing to watch and pray? Are we willing to place ourselves in a posture to receive his Word as well as his Silence? Just as an acorn that is sown matures and grows over time into the mightiest of oak trees, so may our relationship with our Loving God and Father also grow and mature that we become one with him.
Photo: Oak canopy from tree behind my parent’s house that I have watched grow since I was five. I visited Grandfather Oak again this past summer. It is wonderful to watch God’s hand at work.