"All the poor and powerless
And all the lost and lonely
All the thieves will come confess
And know that You are holy

And all will sing out
And we will cry out

And all the hearts that are content
And all who feel unworthy
And all who hurt with nothing left
Will know that You are holy"

“All the Poor and Powerless,” 2011, by All Sons and Daughters

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He continued, “What’s a good image for God’s kingdom? What parable can I use to explain it? Consider a mustard seed. When scattered on the ground, it’s the smallest of all the seeds on the earth; but when it’s planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all vegetable plants. It produces such large branches that the birds in the sky are able to nest in its shade.”

Mark 4:30-32

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I like mustard. I used to use it on all of my food. Bologna sandwich… Mustard. Pretzel… Mustard. Hamburger… Spicy mustard. Admittedly, I think my over-enthusiastic intake of mustard in my younger years stunted my growth and left a permanent mustard stain in my stomach.

I’ve always loved the stuff, but I never thought much about where this delicious condiment comes from. It comes from the mustard seed. To help you put the size of this seed in perspective, it is barely bigger than a grain of salt. That’s tiny! And from this tiny seed comes an enormous bush that can overtake a garden.

This parable uses my favorite condiment’s origins to describe the transforming power of God. Jesus is saying that even though we may face difficulty or suffering, there is hope for justice and fairness. A tiny bit of hope brings about a transformative experience with God. This transformation may not be physical, like that of the mustard seed, but it will be life-changing for us and those around us. Sounds pretty hopeful to me.

Chris Wondree

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God of transformation, lead me not into temptation but deliver me from the evil of injustice. Lead me into your Kingdom, where I may be transformed into a person who stands up for you and the justice and love you have taught through Jesus. Amen.

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Go forth into the world in peace, knowing that the God who made you continues to love, keep, nurture, and grow you. Amen.

Chris Wondree

Chris Wondree is a graduate of Shenandoah University with a B.S. in Biology, and a current student at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond pursuing a Master of Divinity. Chris serves as the youth minister at May Memorial Baptist Church in Powhatan, Virginia. (He likes long walks on beaches at sunset and huskies.)

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