Small Seeds of Faith
Please take a moment to read Matthew 13:31-34
It is easy to envision Jesus sitting down with a group of listeners gathered all around him as he shares with them this good news. The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, oh it may be the smallest seed to look at, but it will grow to be 8-10 feet tall and become a host for birds.
Jesus was sharing with those original listeners and, through the Holy Spirit, now with us, this image of God’s activity in the world. God’s activity initiated by Jesus is real and in God’s own time it will come to full fruition. We may not always recognize it happening, and we may not always fully grasp what is happening, but God is very real and is working in powerful and sometimes mysterious ways.
I think of the growth of our new puppy. He is growing like a weed. We don’t see it happening hourly and daily before our eyes, but when my children and I came back from a short vacation we recognized how much he had grown, including his paws!
I encourage all of us to take a moment and reflect on our lives. The promise is real, God is active and in God’s time all will come to full fruition. Can we work on noticing and looking for God’s activity within and surround us?
The time of the pandemic has been difficult. I know God has been supporting, encouraging, healing, and inspiring us in so many ways. Have we seen it? God’s kingdom has been growing, even through this difficult time and all the challenging moments. It wasn’t until this July 4th that I caught a wonderful glimpse of what God has been doing throughout my life and the life of my neighborhood. One of the “silver linings” to come out of Covid is that I have finally gotten to know my neighbors! It’s been great! I have gotten to know not only their names, but I’ve grown new friendships even to the point of asking for prayers this past January. I am not the only one who has done this.
It was on July 4th that a nice number of neighbors gathered on a lawn for conversation and to watch fireworks. This hasn’t happened before. Our sense of community has grown. The opportunity to look out for one another has grown. God has been active, growing this community, one conversation at a time, even through a difficult time.
The promise is real, God continues to work and move within us, even through difficult times. This week may we all take a moment to reflect and strive to notice what God is doing.
Gracious God, Thank you for the Good News you give us in the Parable of the Mustard Seed. Lord, help us to look for your activity, your growth, in our lives and in the lives of those around us. And in those challenging, painful moments, inspire us to keep our eyes on you and lean into your promises. For it’s in your holy name we pray, Amen.
Written by Pastor Michelle Oetken
Pastor Michelle answered God’s call to serve at Sheridan in 2014 and shepherds our ministries of Confirmation, Youth and Young Adults. Her first 15 years of ministry were spent as a solo Pastor in McCool Junction and Wausa, NE.
In addition to spending time in the parish, she has also served on the synod boards of NLOM and Global Ministry. Michelle is married to Rich and they have two beautiful children, Jonathon and Krista. In her spare time, she enjoys growing in her knowledge of American Sign Language, playing piano and crafting.