The New Room has been sharing a Friday reflection each week. We hope that these short reflections act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
Today’s reflection is from Bridget Down, Learning Development Officer for the Methodist Church in the South West Region. She has a passion for the spiritual development of families in day to day life, embracing the outdoors and the opportunities each person has to learn something about Jesus from one another.
Mark 4:30-32 New International Version
The Parable of the Mustard Seed 30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
I love the wonder that children remind us of all the time, as they notice the small things that life can simply pass by without noticing. I’ve always thought that by being small and closer to the ground is useful for this. As I watch the children here on the farm, they are constantly hands in puddles gazing at the magical ice formations or digging, finger nails submerged in dirt for that stone that looks like a dinosaur tooth, or the way that a log is turned over to reveal the world of the mini beasts. I love it!
Small things, the insignificant things, the things that go unnoticed to the mass market in the grown up serious world.
But often it’s the small that has the impact on individual lives, it’s the investment in the small numbers which means the relationships are deep and invested, it’s slowing of pace that allows for these minor works to hold their major significance.
Too often we look for numbers and size to prove worth, but I think the kingdom of God recognises significance in a different way. Whether it be a mustard seed, a grain of sand, a hair or a child; Jesus shows that God doesn’t need a microscope to identify their worth. With this understanding I am driven to slow down, to notice and to give worth to the individuals and communities I serve, live and belong.
Hundreds upon thousands of people are involved in small, unseen, unpublicised, unrecognised service which is provoked by a genuine, deep and invested sacrificial love for brothers, sisters and creation. Some may feel that this is prompted by their spiritual faith, others will not. But, what I see is that this past year of confinement; has engaged community spirit, with the slowing of pace and the reduced area of ground covered, humanity has taken notice of smallness, the individual notes in the community symphony. Recognising that small is real, small gets involved in the grit and dirt, and that small world, if we dare to look for it…..if we over turn that log and look beneath…. It can reveal huge lessons for us all, within our priority laying, and in our exploring of what is our purpose.
As we emerge into the brightness of a world of possibility and reduced boundaries beyond lockdown, help us keep our eyes peeled on our journey for any unnoticed smallness which can teach us, inspire usor provide a moment where we can serve today.