6/08/2015

mustard

Friday June 19th, Mark 4: "What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade."  First problem, mustard was a Roman spice and no self-respecting person of Jewish heritage would ever plant it in their garden, it would make the whole garden unclean.  Second problem, mustard is an invasive weed, once planted it will take over.  Third problem, mustard seeds are not the smallest seeds, then or now.  Fourth problem, mustard plants do not get any higher than 8 feet and although some smaller birds may land on its stems, larger birds would have a problem.  So what is going on with this parable about the Kingdom of Heaven?  The Kingdom of Heaven is like a small obnoxious weed that reminds you of your enemy and takes over all you try to grow and makes all you try to grow unclean.  But also the Kingdom of heaven is common and inclusive, not holy and exclusive.  It includes all you think is good, but also calls you to love your neighbor and your enemy.  And even though it may seem small and insignificant, it has power greater than that exemplified by the mighty cedars of Lebanon.  It is out of your control, not defined by you.  The Kingdom is inclusive of you and the ones you would call enemy, it grows without your care and if used correctly, can add a bit of spice to your life.  For more on Mustard visit the beautiful and world famous Mustard Museum in beautiful downtown Middleton Wisconsin (http://www.mustardweb.com/) , It is a must for any savvy southern Wisconsin traveler this summer.

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