I am excited to be with you this Sunday as we explore further the gifts that can arise from unexpected chaos and change. While it often feels like “life is what happens when you’re making other plans,” God, the very ground of our being and present hope, reminds and invites us to participate rather than resist, to be present to the challenges rather than retreat to escapism.
But the question may be how are we to participate? How to be present, especially when things get overwhelming? Our culture is replete slogans and trends in being our best, in grabbing the market share, in maximizing profits and coming up with the best ways to plan for our future. But some of this way of thinking seems counter to our own faith and spirituality, especially in times of challenge and change.
Jesus tells his disciples that the Kingdom of God, already present among them, is like a mustard seed, tiniest of seeds, but when sowed into a garden, becomes a tree, larger than the other shrubs, providing shelter for the birds. It’s an awkward image for Jesus’ listening crowd. Because who in their right mind would plant such a seed in their garden? It’d overwhelm all of the other plants in a garden. It would literally change the landscape the same way an acorn, over time, changes the landscape of your yard from a sun-based lawn to a shade-based lawn where most of your “butterfly” flowers can no longer flourish.
Is Jesus talking about the way things are or the way things ought to be? Or are they one and the same and we are simply not as aware of what’s happening until it overwhelms us? And when Jesus later says to his disciples, “If you had the faith of a mustard seed you could move mountains,” what is he saying? Mustard seeds are such small things in the face of the seemingly overwhelming experience of chaos.
I hope you can join us this Sunday as we continue to explore “The Gifts of Chaos” and we look at the Gospel and the Butterfly Effect — what it might mean to have the faith of a mustard seed.
Sunday, September 24
“butterflies and mustard seeds — it’s the little things”
Rev. Tom McDermott
See you then!