Easter 5, Saturday, Year B

Inspired by Mark 4:30-32

“[Jesus] also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’” Mark 4:30-32 (NRSV)

With what can we compare the kingdom of God? There are many parables describing different aspects of it, but it can only be described incompletely and symbolically, because there is absolutely nothing that is truly like it that already exists on this earth.

The kingdom of God is of great potential: it starts out very small, yet it grows large enough to provide shelter and shade. The kingdom of God is unexpected: mustard was sometimes grown for culinary and medicinal purposes, but not for the physical or structural properties of the plant itself. The kingdom of God is unpredictable: mustard was something of a weed, and could easily take over the entire garden.

The kingdom of God is all of these things, yet it is so much more. Most importantly, the kingdom of God is not the status quo here on earth; it is not the way things currently are. The kingdom of God is the transformed life we live when we follow Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, freeing us to cast off the bonds of our current reality, choosing instead to live according to his grace and love.

Let us pray. Sovereign God, your kingdom is at hand. Give us the courage to embrace you as our ruler, that we may enjoy the benefits of citizenship in your kingdom here on earth. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.