Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mustard Seed Movement

The parable of the Mustard Seed is a favourite of those who long for social change. We like the idea that our small seed will grow into something big and great. It was only in university that I reflected on the fact that I had never actually seen a really big "mustard tree" before. In a New Testament course I took, I was exposed to a much more exciting interpretation of the parable. We were shown a picture of a mustard plant - it's a shrub. Mustard, it turns out, was seen by the farmers in Jesus' time as a wild and uncontrollable weed. It spread quickly once taken root and was very hard to get rid of. Thus, the growth that I had always imagined to be vertical turned out to be horizontal. I think Jesus would have understood our idea of grass-roots movements very well, he just would have called it a mustard seed movement. Development and Peace is very much a mustard seed movement. By organizing itself in small groups found in church basements, school chapels and classrooms, the movement grows. It is always alive and beating with the hope of a better world. It cannot be stomped out or cut down in one fell swoop like a large tree because hey, do you know how many church basements there are in Canada!?! As it grows so to does the involvement of our church in building the Kingdom of God, a kingdom that Jesus tells us is like a mustard seed. And so, welcome to Mustard Seed Musings where you will hear tales and reflections on this little tiny Mustard Seed called Development and Peace.

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