Believing is Seeing
by Rev. Frank Schaefer
of you who donít know what a mustard seed looks like, it is one of the
tiniest seeds youíll ever see. In fact, you can hardly see it with
your naked eye. And yet, it grows into a big tree; actually, itís
technically a shrub, but it looks like a tree, itís as large as a
tree. And many birds will be able to make their nest in itís canopy.
Many preachers through
the ages have focused on this amazing contrast, of tiny beginnings
that can lead to big results. And in that sense, the mustard seed is a
perfect simile to the kingdom of God. Sometimes we see very small
beginnings that yield amazing results.
As Madeleine Boucher
says, ďMost likely the meaning of the similitude lies in the contrast
between the smallness of the mustard seed and the greatness of the
full-grown shrub, so large that the birds can find shelter in it. . .
. This similitude, then, is clearly about the contrast between the
small beginnings and the final greatness of Godís work.Ē
Now, we see very small
beginnings in our own faith community. And God wants us to have faith
that this humble new church start will grow into something big;
something that will change and improve the life of people around us, a
ministry that will provide shelter and a spiritual home for people in
I want to read another
Scripture passage to you where Jesus talks about a mustard seed:
ďTruly, I tell you, ff you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you
can say to this mountain, Ďmove from here to thereí and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for youĒ (Mt 17:20). Now, thatís a big
statement, isnít it?
If you have just a little
faith, you can move mountains. That tiny little faith can move
mountains, it can actually move mountains. Well, I donít know about
actual mountains, by I definitely believe that our faith can move
metaphorical mountains. Your faith can move mountains in your life, in
your community. How encouraging is that?
There is a saying in the
world ďseeing is believingĒ and a lot of people live by that mantra.
People are saying: unless you can show me, Iím not going to believe
The truth is that today
you often have to believe first before you can see. Thatís true even
of the Scientific community. You have to first believe theories before
you can understand whatís going on in quantum physics and other
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