Sept. 14, 2021 - Luke 13:18-20
Are you a “projects” person? I know a lot of people that love having something to work on. From my observation, there are two main types of “project” lovers: the first is someone who lives for the checklist, the ability to “get things done,” and thrives off of the exhilaration of chipping away at the small, quick necessities. Doing the dishes, sending that email, grabbing milk on the way home, folding the laundry.
The other type of “project” person might be a little rarer. There are those in our lives that thrive for the “big” tasks that require countless hours, details, and seemingly endless little steps. There are people who love activities like refurbishing old furniture, working on a project car or motorcycle, writing a book, or starting that next “side hustle” or small business.
If you’re one of those “checklist project people,” or someone who doesn’t like projects at all, you can balk at the seemingly endless steps to finish what other types of people may want to undertake.
Unfortunately, the problems of the world look like endless projects. Whether it's a career, or school, or health, or systemic issues like racial injustice, or unforeseen challenges like COVID-19, we can see the outcome we want, but we may feel ill-equipped to get there. If we know the steps to take, they may seem either too difficult or unrealistic based on our available time or resources. A lot of times, we might not feel like we have any idea what those next steps need to be.
So when we hear and believe that Jesus is the hope of the world, it can still be discouraging because we don't understand how our own individual faith can contend with the massive hurt of the world?
Jesus tells a story about how the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed - one of the smallest, tiniest seeds there are. You could mistake it for a speck of dust. But if planted and cared for, it grows into something strong enough to support those around it.
When we look at the changes we want to see: whether those are individual changes, like goals or challenges we want to see in ourselves, or external changes like bettering our community and the world around us, we don’t have to be discouraged by the scope of those challenges with Jesus and faith. The tree starts by simply planting a seed.
Questions for reflection:
- What challenge seems too big to handle for you right now?
- What is the first step in “planting the tree?”