Hurricane season is upon us. Folks are interested in tracking disturbances, especially out in the Gulf of Mexico. Given all our modern devices, we still depend on God to control the weather.
Rain makes the crops grow. Too much rain kills plants. Not enough is also disastrous. Got to be just right, otherwise irrigation is necessary. We plant seeds, but only God can make them grow. The miracle of life is part of the mystery of who God is. All life comes from Him. Science fiction stories continue to enjoy popularity. We are fascinated by the possibility of creating life. However, we always need something to make something. Some gardeners mistakenly say, “Look at my garden. I grew this tree. I am responsible for these flowers.” Not true. Everything is a gift, particularly the beauty of nature. We cooperate by fertilizing, cultivating, protecting from the elements; but only God creates life. Little wonder that Jesus said, ‘a man scatters seed, goes to sleep, wakes up; but the seed grows without the man’s knowledge.’ Human knowledge has increased since Jesus first spoke these words. We can explain scientifically what happens in the leaf nourished by the soil, watered and exposed to the sun. Yet, in spite of all our knowledge, we can be rendered helpless, as was demonstrated when the world stood still in the Pandemic. Businesses, churches, travel—everything stopped. We were reminded of our smallness by a microscopic virus. We pray that the worst is over. However, the scars remain. Countless families were touched by death. Yet, from an apparent tragedy came many positive changes. We learned to adjust, even to sheltering in our homes; keeping distant from loved ones; limiting our use of toilet paper. We are accustomed to buy whatever we want, when we want. All of humanity was humbled. The world shared in a common struggle.
Jesus spoke of the common struggles of people in His parables. We all want to understand; yet some things we will never understand. For example, how one little mustard seed can grow into a large plant, with branches for the birds to dwell in its shade. Consider that the Kingdom of God is like the mustard seed—small beginning—producing great results. Has never been easy. If we look back, the blood of many martyrs paved the way for the Faith we now proclaim. Persecutions, divisions, wars have occurred in order to bring the Truth to receptive souls.
Although some have attempted to “water down” the message to fit their standards, the Words of Jesus continue to be counter cultural. The Gospel is for all times, all seasons, all circumstances. The seed has withstood the test of time and continues to encounter the same opposition as the first Christians. There will always be opposition to the message of freedom. 2,000 years ago, people were not ready, and we are not ready today—rebellious groups, even within the church, confusion between what issues belong to the government and what belongs to moral teaching, factions on what defines a family. They are all just symptoms of root causes. That is where evil wants to destroy—he wants to get at the root. Families are the roots of our church, of society, of the Kingdom. The little seeds of Faith planted within the family are more important than all the volumes of Theology. The sanctity of our families must be nurtured, protected, modeled for the children. We have allowed hurts from the past to block forgiveness. Pride is always the main cause of a family separation, unless a blatant mistake was made. Takes courage to plant the seeds of a family. Without knowing the future, folks make a commitment to each other—“in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.” Just seeds, but when grown can become a large plant.
Love has small beginnings. With God all things possible.