“Then Jesus asked, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches” (Luke 13: 18-19, NIV 1984).
A couple of decades ago, Dr. Rick Donlon and his Christian buddies in medical school dreamed a dream of service to the underinsured in the inner city. Now Christ Community Health Center serves thousands of underserved in Memphis, Tennessee. Rick and many of his partners actually live among those they serve, raising their own kids in the poorer neighborhoods of town. And that’s not the neatest part of the story. On Rick’s Facebook page, he posted a picture of a student guesthouse they are building within the inner city…their second guesthouse. One of the neat things about the Christ Community story is the way that they are passing on the dream. In 2011, 80 medical students from all over the country traveled to Memphis to catch the vision, working in the clinics and performing community service. With the new house, Dr. Donlon says that they hope to house 200 visiting students next year.
Kind of like that mustard seed.
In the same passage about mustard seed, Jesus talked about yeast, with the same message:
1. God’s kingdom starts small, often with a dream or a thought in a very few.
2. The small inevitably grows if the yeast is placed in the flour.
3. We cannot see the true power that accomplishes the purpose and is beyond our control.
4. Someone has to take the step of placing the leaven in the flour to get things started.
Are we seeking places and lives in which God would have us plant seed or place leaven?
No matter how small, are we willing to take the first step where God has directed us?
Are we willing to do the hard work of planting and kneading once God hands us the seed and leaven?
Are we trusting in God’s power to grow the kingdom while we are simply doing the thing He has asked of us?
A medical student dream decades ago…a student guesthouse in the inner city: God’s mustard tree.
Let me take the step and trust your power.