1 Samuel 16:6-13; Mark 4:26-34

I wonder what it must have been like for Jesse, watching his son David being anointed king of Israel. His youngest son, the one he had discounted and not even invited to worship, anointed king. Did he see in David’s eyes what Samuel saw, what the Lord saw? Was he able to look at this little seed of a person and believe that he would become the great king of his people?

I wonder what it was like for Joseph, too. Joseph, who had trusted what God was doing in Jesus while Jesus was still smaller than a kernel of corn, smaller even than a mustard seed. What must it have been like to watch that boy grow up, learn, begin teaching, and usher us all into the kingdom of God?

I wonder what it was like for your fathers – the fathers you grew up with, the fathers you came across along the way, the fathers you didn’t get to know as long as you wanted or at all. I wonder what it must have been like for them to be part of your growth, to share their gifts with you, to identify and nurture what was inside you before you or even they could quite know what it was. We give thanks for those fathers – biological, sociological, and otherwise – who have nurtured and guided our journeys.

The kingdom of God is like fatherhood. Like parenthood. It starts out like a dream deep inside us, tiny and shapeless. It takes root in lives that we couldn’t have foreseen, even as close to us as they are. Eventually, it becomes something we can’t have imagined and bears its own fruit in the world. That gift can’t be taken away, and it can’t be stopped.

Mustard is like that: it takes root, grows, and spreads like yuck. The kingdom of God is like a stinking dandelion. Or a raspberry bush – we have raspberries coming up on the opposite side of our house from where the bush is planted. Whatever the kingdom of God is like, most of us would have probably cut it down and dug it out if we had been thinking about what could come of it. Love, acceptance, and abundant life are big deals when you get down to it, far beyond what we can manage or control.

But there it is. There is your little seed. You have one. You have several, I’m sure. A seed of hope, of talent, of willingness to try on this way of life. Maybe it’s out there in the field taking care of the chores while you do other things, but it’s still there. It’s your very little seed. The beginnings of God’s new life, deep in you.

I wonder what’s there for you. I wonder what small, seemingly insignificant piece of yourself has escaped your notice until just now. I wonder what it might become. Maybe God has a surprise in there for you.

Let’s plant those seeds. You can take a slip of paper from the rack in your pew and write down your seed, that little kernel of giftedness and new life, and “plant” it in this flower pot. We’ll take them out into the garden and plant them after worship. Or you might carry your seed with you, reflect on it, and let that be your planting. Let that be your prayer. Then let’s keep our eyes out for where those seeds might come up. You just never know what will happen next.