Of Catalogues and Kingdoms
Poppies on Monhegan Island, Maine
One of the bright moments during Maine’s late, cold winter months arrives when the seed catalogues do. They not only inspire dreams of fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers but also astound with the awesome awareness that a variety of plants are stored in tiny seeds, varied and peculiar to the hidden plant! Packed within each seed lies potential, some for great and alluring beauty and some for tasty fruit, but there is no transformation until the seed is sown. Only then, from a very tiny poppy seed, can a beautiful poppy grow! And only a poppy!
Amazingly, a seed’s size isn’t a measure of its plant’s bigness! Jesus used the simile of a very small, mustard seed as being like the Kingdom of Heaven. As the realities of God, His grace, and His authority grow and mature in individual believers, they become Kingdom dwellers. And as generation after generation reseeds this reality, the community of believers is perpetuated into a mushrooming, eternal Kingdom.
Although a plentiful, pleasing harvest may emerge from whatever and wherever seed is disseminated, proper nurturing and caring guarantee the best results. The Psalmist poetically tells us that “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.” (Psalm 126:5-6 (NLT2).
That is true of living and sharing the Gospel. Wherever tiny seeds of grace, forgiveness, love, peace, redemption, reconciliation, dignity, meaning and purpose are compassionately sown, they will feed a spiritually hungry world and eventually produce an abundant and timeless harvest. James reminds us that “…those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:18 (NLT2)