“Bigger is Better.” “Everything is big in Texas.” “She is a big deal.” “That was a huge mistake.” “He is a giant in the industry.” “I’m a huge fan of the local sport team.”
Written into our idioms, sayings, and colloquial language is the message that big is good. Not only is big good, but bigger is better, and, in fact, biggest is best. As much as we may want small computer chips, tiny carbon footprints, and minuscule mosquitos, in most things in our culture we want BIG. We desire grand romantic gestures, big wins, and gargantuan personalities.
In the gospel this Sunday, Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed. As Jesus states, mustard seeds are small. There is nothing big, grand, majestic, or huge about them. Mustard seeds are practically nothing. Yet they grow into the largest of shrubs in which the birds of the air can rest and nest.
Through this analogy, Jesus Christ emphatically states that the Kingdom of God is a work of God and can only be accomplished by God himself. Why? Only God can make something out of nothing. Only God can take something small, meaningless and make it into something large enough for the whole created world to reside within. Only God can take something that wouldn’t even register as worth anything and make it into a world wide phenomenon.
Isn’t this what Jesus does with the Church? Jesus takes a small group of inconsequential peasants from a forgotten corner of the grand Roman Empire and creates the Church. The Holy Spirit moves maybe the most unlikely group of spiritual leaders into the great bishops, priests, and saints we know today. God takes virtually nothing and makes it world wide, universal.
The lesson for us then is that God doesn’t need much from us to do great big things. All God needs is the tiny whisper of, “yes Lord.” God doesn’t need our success or our skills or our talents to do something great in our lives. God needs the smallest drop of surrender from us. A simple yes and God can and will do something great.
Live It: Go into your room and turn off all the lights or go into your car and turn off the radio/podcast. Close your eyes (unless you are driving). Pray this simple prayer, “Yes, Lord.” Whisper it even. But say it out loud. See what God will do with it.