Tag Archives: Mustard Seed

Faith or Faithful? (the Mustard Seed)

We have an infamous and beloved scripture this morning.

The disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith (or trust) in him.
Jesus, seemingly frustrated, responds that if the disciples had faith even the size of a small mustard seed, they could order a tree uprooted and planted into the sea.

Although a number of persons, probably including a few sitting in these pews, find these words comforting and inspiring, I wish these words were never uttered especially recorded and attributed to Jesus. Why?

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and High-Functioning Anxiety, which both offer the great gift of being a perfectionist…
Plus, this passage and similar have been used against me in spiritual abuse.

Therefore, when I hear or read these words I can sense my anxiety rising,
because if I read it literally…
well, I have not been able to order a tree uprooted and planted elsewhere.
How about you?

Thankfully, I do not read it literally BUT it still causes questions of self-doubt: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 8, 2019 in Sermons


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Thy Kingdom Come

So before I start the sermon, I am going to ask the men in our room to raise your hand when a statement sounds like you and to keep it raised until the very end. 

  • How many have a child through biological means or adoption?
  • How many have a child who many have four legs and fur? 
    {I am a fur-parent. Pets are like kids. I get it.}
  • How many of you take nieces, nephews, other children in your life,
    jack them up on sugar, and return them to their other parents?
  • How many of you are teachers, in the medical field,
    or in some other way care for and nurture other people?

Every man in this room should have his hand up.
Happy Father’s Day to each and every one of you. 

Our scriptures this morning combine two common themes throughout scripture, which we look to scripture for the themes that thread it together.

At first glance, however, these themes seem distant and yet are more deeply intertwined than we credit it them (in my opinion).

The first theme is located in our Ezekiel and 2 Corinthians scriptures.
It is the “Grand Reversal”.

Although it may be new language for some, it is the concept heard in Mary’s Magnificat, or her song when she learns that she will mother the Christ child.

The lowly will be lifted up.
The poor will be come rich.
The oppressed with have freedom.

We LOVE that imagine, right?
It is all the injustices of our world made right.

The second theme is in our Mark scripture of the Mustard Seed as a parable for God’s kingdom. Mark’s gospel has an over-arching theme that the kingdom of God is here now (we get glimpses), it is near (we are called to live further into it), and it is not yet fulfilled. The Mustard Seed reminds us that the kingdom of God is bigger and better than we can even imagine.

What if the grand reversal is in fact the reign/kingdom of God fulfilled? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 2, 2018 in Sermons


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Hidden Parables


Our texts on Sunday came from Matthew chapter 13 and it is a collection of parables.
Parables are challenging to preach on, because usually an explanation accompanies them limiting how you can translate or interpret that into our time and our place.
All of these parables are talking about the kingdom of God and all these parables talk about how the kingdom is hidden.

The first one we have is how the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, small but grows up to be a mighty bush. It calls to mind the story about how if we have faith the size of a mustard seed. Mustard seeds are not the smallest seeds in the world, but they are pretty mighty; in addition to growing huge bushes, they also took the bland foods of Biblical times and added spice to it. Bishop Richard Jaech at our Southwestern Washington Synod Assembly stated that we, as Lutherans, need to be like mustard seeds, “spicy”. The kingdom of God is small, and its mighty, and its flavorful, and its spicy; so is our role within it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 1, 2017 in Sermon Summaries


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Spiritual Elitism: the Mustard Seed and Faith Ancestry

Click here for YouTube Video.

The Transcript:
Our texts this week comes from 2 Timothy 1 and Luke 17.

In Timothy, Paul is praising Timothy’s ancestors, his grandmother and mother, for passing along the faith to him.

In Luke, we have the “increase our faith”… “well if you had faith even the size of a mustard seed” text tied with a text about ‘would you praise a slave for doing the work you commanded the slave to do’ and the obvious response is no.

As I struggled with these texts this week, I came to a realization. I hate these texts, not simply that these texts are ah, but that I HATE these tests. And there is a reason, because they both speak to a problem within our religiosity and spirituality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 5, 2016 in Sermon Summaries


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