Ezekiel 17:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:1-17; Mark 4:26-34

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Have you ever seen a mustard seed? It’s so incredibly tiny that you must look real closely to see it. It’s so small that should you have dropped one, you wouldn’t even attempt to find it because it would be nearly impossible. There’s something to be said for our mentality of “bigger is better.” We value things that are large and easy to show off; thus, we also devalue things that are small or miniscule.

Just because something is small doesn’t mean it will stay that way. The mustard seed might be the smallest of all seeds, but it will grow into a large tree. We have many stories and experiences that should teach us not to underestimate small things. Just because we view something, or someone, as small and feeble doesn’t mean they can’t outperform our expectations.

In our Gospel reading this week, Jesus gives us two parables concerning the kingdom of God. Perhaps the lesson Jesus seeks to teach us is not to underestimate God’s kingdom. It will grow in ways which we are not aware of; and it may seem small but will be larger and more prominent than any other.

It doesn’t matter how much we try to understand church growth, find the right formula, instill the right culture, we’re still just as clueless as ever. By examining church growth, we find that there are no magic bullets to always grant growth. I.e. what works in one place is never guaranteed to work elsewhere. For we often show our own disdain for the Word by trying to replace our hope in traits, programs, or people to grow the church. 

Consider the work of the farmer scattering the seed. We can encourage growth. We can seek to help growth. But growth just happens on its own. “He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how,” Mark 4:27. When we share the Word, we can’t guess whether it will yield growth or not. Rather, we scatter the word knowing that the word can grow. Growth is dependent on two things, the seed of the Word and its reception by one who hears. The word is nothing else but the word of Christ. It’s speaking and witnessing to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For when we speak of Christ and how he takes our sins upon himself and goes to the cross for us, the seed is scattered into hearts and minds so that faith may grow. And so also the mustard seed, when faith is shared, when Christ is proclaimed, the Church grows. The tree of the Church sends out its branches far and wide so many may come and find shelter and life within its shade. So, let us trust that the word will grant the very growth which God desires from it and that by the word alone, the Church will grow into all nations, granting salvation unto eternal life!

Pastor Sorenson


Blessed Lord, since You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen!