Thursday, November 6, 2008
Changing the World
"What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in a garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches....It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour until it was leavened." Luke 13:18-21
In the past few days, I have been considering what is possible in my life. There have been some tough challenges recently; personal, physical, and familial that have made me want to withdraw my hopes and aspirations in exchange for some safe alternatives. I have always been fairly practical, and have always wanted to do the best for my family and have them thrive. After the election, and after an interesting conversation with my eldest daughter, I am aware of how easy it is for us humans to let the small setbacks shape our future. I recognize how easy it is to exchange faith for security. As the financial security of our nation has crumbled, many have given up ideals and faith for safety. It's a normal human reaction. I reminded my daughter that she can change the world and she reminded me that I had taught her how. During these difficult times it is hard to remember the gifts and possibilities that God has blessed us with. It is hard for all of us, in challenged times, to keep walking by faith.
Jesus speaks to this as he tells two stories about the reign of God. The mustard seed is the tiniest of tiny seeds, and yet it blossoms into a colossal tree. And the yeast, well, a little amount goes a long way and makes many large loaves of bread. Some of us have overlooked or ignored the small seed of faith that is germinating within us. The time hasn't been right, we say. The reign of God, can be buried, hidden away, tucked out of sight when we are anxious and feeling unstable. In fact, these are just the times when the world needs people to plant seed and sprinkle the yeast. We have been given a small measure, each of us, by the grace of God. God promises to increase our offering by a thousand fold or more. That is the reign of God on earth. Abundance growing out of the small, anxious steps of faith, love exploding across a neighborhood from one small gesture.
I know now it is time to step out in faith. It is a scary step, but it is a step none of us take alone. The God who gave us our portion and potential, promises to go with us and bless what we offer. I pray that today I have the courage to offer what God has given me. And I pray that God gives us all the strength to step out in faith, offering our little, and knowing God will bring the plenty. God is ready to pour an inexhaustible stream of love and life down upon us all. May we have the courage to take one step so that God can, through our little bit, change the world.