Monday Rewrite: The Parable of the Mustard Weed

A little reflection after learning recently that Mustard was a weed back in the days of Jesus, so his parable comes as a bit of a shock. Imagine Jesus saying, ‘The kingdom of a God is a like bindweed! Keeps growing, and not what we¬†expect.’

Till recently I looked up into the sky of my mind
And viewed a tree of huge proportions
Heard a story by a man from Nazareth
And imagined an ivory tower, a church so high
The idea filled my mind with grandeur
A bastion, a castle in the sky
Invulnerable, gleaming, perhaps even impenetrable
To those not in the know, those not in the crowd
Impressive birds come to nest and make it their home
This mighty, magnificent mustard tree.

But I took a walk and overheard another story
About the smallest seed, so despised
Nothing epic or gleaming about this planting
No towering tree, calling to the privileged birds of society
But an unwanted rejected weed
Not what I expected at all
Not what I thought it should be
A kingdom growing subversively
Unexpectedly spreading, taking hold in the dark places
And yes, birds finding a place, but not an elevated one
Not a place of power, but alongside a rejected gardener
That man from Nazareth, working close to the ground
His kingdom resembling the kind of plant I might normally reject.

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