Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
Do you ever feel overwhelmed these days? The problems facing us are overwhelming. The wildfires out West. The ongoing pandemic. Systemic racism. Political turmoil. An angry and divided country. Not to mention your own personal challenges, worries, and struggles.
What can we do? It is easy to feel helpless or powerless against such powerful forces. We might convince ourselves that there is nothing we can do. We might convince ourselves that our small effort or our tiny voice will have no impact against such crushing, frightening opposition.
When the news is unrelentingly bad, we can remember Jesus’ description of a mustard seed. That tiny kernel holds tremendous promise.
Be the mustard seed.
In the face of incivility, name-calling, and callousness, be a mustard seed of kindness and courtesy.
In response to anger and impatience, be a mustard seed of empathy.
When rudeness seems to prevail, be a mustard seed of calm.
When prejudice and fear seem to rule, offer a mustard seed of justice and fairness.
It may not seem like much. That is the point of Jesus’ message. Our offering doesn’t have to look impressive or showy. God promises to use our gifts, no matter how big or little. And if we have only the smallest particle of faith to offer, go ahead and give that to God. God will do the rest.
Our only mistake would be to give up. The size of our faith doesn’t matter. We are asked to trust that God will take the tiniest amount of love, hope, faith, mercy, compassion, and good will and bless that. God promises to take our meager offerings and multiply them.
It may seem like we are tossing a tiny pebble of love into a swirling ocean of hate and turmoil but God says – go ahead! God will use what we offer.
Go ahead and be that mustard seed of love, listening, and caring. We are encouraged to do what we can and trust that God will bless that effort. And just like in a garden, the results may not be immediately apparent. There may be some waiting involved. We are asked to keep planting, keep working, and keep trusting. God is at work.
The only mustard seed that is wasted is the one that is never planted. So go ahead – be a mustard seed. Offer your love, show your compassion, and share your kindness. We are invited to speak, listen, pray, care, and act – and then trust that God will cause those offerings to grow and multiply.