Sermon Notes - July 30
Introduction: Bud Grant, was the Minnesota Vikings football coach and he took over the team at a time when they were known as perennial losers in the National Football League. Bud Grant is a unique individual having played professional for the Minneapolis Lakers, the Philadelphia Eagles and in the Canadian Football League where he became the youngest coach of a football team at the age of 30. When he came to the Minnesota Vikings as their head football coach he had already won the Grey Cup four times in the CFL. One of the first things he had the Vikings work on was standing at attention during the National Anthem something he had them practice. He would end up taking the Vikings to four Super Bowls.
I). After the parables of the Sower and then the parable of the weeds, he tells the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven. He begins by saying the mustard seed is the smallest of seeds, here Jesus is not presenting a scientific fact, rather a metaphor to gain attention. Out of a small seed can come a GREAT bush or small tree, one in which birds can build a nest within. He goes on to give the example of a little leaven and how just a tiny bit can transform flour into something different in its nature.
II). Certainly the disciples were well aware of this tiny community which existed in the world dominated by the Roman Empire. How could something so minute amount to anything? Moreover, they were so small not only could they easily disappear and no one would notice, but how could they even begin to accomplish something that would be worth noticing? Or perhaps even more important, something of lasting import!
III). The point of Jesus’ parables is to help give the community a new vision, a way to think of themselves as not stuck in this present moment, but to see beyond who they are at this particular time and realize God has indeed given them a commission to give those they come in contact with a new way of living. Jesus uses the mustard seed transforming into a bush to help the disciples recognize that the community they are creating will be a place of safety and rest for those coming to them. As they go out into the world they will be like leaven which transforms the flour in secret, without any apparent change in the essence of the flour. So too, without any apparent change in those who join their community, they will still look and sound the same, yet something essential will have changed. How are we being called to transform the community around us?