Father Mark, Sermons

Hot and Spicy

Proper 12 Pentecost 8 Matt 13:13 ff; 7/26/20

Mustard seeds are a lot like Texas botany.  They grow wild.  In the Middle East, most people consider mustard a weed.   The plant and seed are considered “hot.”  It is so hot to the taste that many Middle Easterners did not eat the plant because they believed it caused insanity.   They may be right.  After eating authentic Indian Curry, I spent most of an hour desperately trying to find a way to put the fire out in my mouth.  If you think Jalapenos are hot….  

Jesus uses irony to compare the tiniest of all seeds, so small that they cannot be easily seen, to be the most intensely hot, potent and powerful.   The mustard seed is so hot that wherever mustard seeds are planted other plants will not grow.  What does this image cultivate in you?    God is stronger and more real than any ideology.   There is no room for anything false around God.   A mustard seed multiplies from a millimeter seed to a three foot bush in a matter of weeks.  Mustard seeds spread. 

What would it be like to be so “hot” with God that no evil could grow close to you?  Imagine the heat of holy love permeating through you.  What would that be like?  Allow the Spirit to carry you for a moment with this image…. 

Jesus is showing us the mustard seed and that when that seed of faith is incarnated within us-planted within us,  evil slips off of us like fried eggs in a new Teflon pan.  No stick.  

Heaven and Leaven

Jesus reveals his sense of humor here which because of language and cultural differences we find it difficult to understand.  A woman takes a small bit of leaven and places it in 50 pounds (three measures) of flour. 

Notice Jesus’ exaggeration of the amount of flour to the comparison of a pinch of leaven or yeast.  Once the yeast is in the flour, you can no longer see it—nor see it working.  A little bit of God within each of us continues to ferment.  It’s the same with you beer makers—once you put in the yeast, you can no longer see it.  But over time, God is brewing in us. 

What I would like for you to do right now is take a few moments to come up with your own parable.   Begin with something like, The Love of God is like…, and then await for an image that represents your experience to come to mind.  

The image you receive most likely will be more deeply experienced than any words you can say—and the image will remain with you.  When you recall or see an image representing your parable, you will be deeply reminded of God’s presence. 

Buried Treasure                                                             

Notice that the treasure is hidden in a field.  The person who buys the field still has to search for it. 

How do we search for God?   The paradox here is that we search but we do not search.  When we awaken to the Kingdom of God, we realize that the search was not to find but to be awakened—because the distance was never there in the first place.  God has been in our midst all the time.  

What is the one pearl that we would sell everything we have to get? 

Everyone is living in the realm of God’s love but few realize this.  How do we realize the Kingdom? 

I’ll leave you to it to ponder all of this. 

Be still and know that the Lord is God.

Amen.