Wednesday Words

June 9, 2021

Pr. Cathy Daharsh

“The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.” – Mark 4:26

In this week’s gospel Jesus tells us about the kingdom of God through parables. Jesus is calling us to a very different way of being with ourselves, with one another, and with God by asking us to recognize that spiritual growth and our relationship with God happens like seeds growing.

Henry Thoreau once wrote, “…I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonder.” 

Before you see growth of a seed, it grows underground. It takes time, and it’s hard to be patient. We often need the collaboration of others to plant, nurture and harvest. 

Last Sunday I participated in the Interfaith Earth Festival, which was formed two years ago out of a need to provide a space where people of all ages and backgrounds could honor the sacred within ourselves, our communities, and the earth. This event was anything but ordinary. During the first festival, many participants, created seeds made of pottery. The seeds were created in memory of individuals unjustly murdered in faith communities since 2015. Participants came from a variety of cultural backgrounds, and faith backgrounds including Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, and Baha’i. There is an African proverb that was inscribed on one of the seeds, “if you want to go quickly go alone, if you want to go far go together.” 

On Sunday, those seeds were placed around a beautiful birch tree that was planted by youth campers from the inner city of Chicago years ago. The seeds that were planted around the tree were an act of prayer, as 71 names were read of those who died in their sacred spaces. 

These seeds will slowly but surely be absorbed by the earth. This will take patience, which is just what we need as we continue the conversation of racism and working at building relationships with people of a variety of backgrounds. 

I can’t help but think that the gathering on Sunday was like the kingdom of God, such a diverse group coming together carrying many different emotions and challenges but holding onto hope. This was a small beginning, just like a seed. We are sometimes unimpressed by or even discouraged by small beginnings, but that’s exactly the pattern of God’s kingdom. Amen.