Thursday, July 25, 2013

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Kingdom of Heaven

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.”
In today’s passage, Jesus talks about kingdom of heaven through two parables.  First, Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.  In the second parable Jesus said the Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.
          The kingdom of heaven here refers to the Holy Spirit dwelling among us.  Jesus compares Kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed, but once planted it grew and became a tree.  The kingdom of heaven starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God’s word and it causes a transformation from within.  Often, we are discouraged by various things and may not be dependent on God’s will in our lives.  It may be that we consider the kingdom of heaven within us to be too small as the mustard seed.  The outcome of the seed is not judged by the size of the seed. As we meditate on this passage, we may sometimes feel how insignificant we are just like the size of the mustard seed.  But Jesus reminded us that Jesus can transform us and make us like a tree.  The seed never became a tree by overnight, but it went through a process of gradual growth.  This is true today in our spiritual growth as well.  We are living in a world where we are looking for immediate results for our prayers, and we are disappointed when we do not see the results right away.  But God wants us to grow from a seed to a tree over time and be fruitful and useful to others. 
              Yeast is another power agent of change. A heap of flour left to itself remains as flour, but when yeast is added, it transform to rich and wholesome bread when it is baked.  A tiny portion of yeast affects the all dough.  It shows yeast’s influence penetrate the surrounding dough and present everywhere in the dough.  Similarly, the kingdom of heaven produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus offers.  However, today in our churches, those who are holding power and authority do not seem to be utilizing their influence for the betterment of the church.  For instance, there is a trend in our churches that many of our leaders are tending to needs of the older generation while knowingly or unknowingly avoiding those of our children and youth.  Likewise, those who are not in positions of leadership adopt a “laissez-faire” attitude towards the needs of church since they feel they are not directly responsible or obligated to the affairs of the church.
As a Mar Thoma Diocese, as we are celebrating the 25th year of existence in this land, in our journey from a seed to a tree, Are we acting an agent of transformation like yeast in our surroundings or are we letting our surroundings dictate our influence?
 Prayer: “Lord, help us to grow the kingdom of heaven within us so that we can become agents of change wherever you place us.”Amen.  
Thought for the Day:  Are we able to recognize the seed within us?

George Babu, Long Island MTC, NY