Sunday, November 2, 2014

Putting Down Roots

image courtesy of the Univ. of Conn.

 Matthew 13:31-32 (NLT) Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field.  It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”

Do you have any invasive plants in your neck of the woods?

In my area, it’s tritchbane.  I’ve never been certain of the spelling, but was glad to learn recently that its official name is Black Swallow-wort.  I’ve been familiar with tritchbane ever since local author and gardener, Electa Tritsch, identified it for me.  I’m embarrassed to say that, for more than 20 years, I didn’t get her joke.  I told everyone it was ‘Tritsch bane’.

So… The Black-Swallow-wort builds an amazing root system. One knot-like node sends up a single vine that grabs hold of a fence or bush.  New roots quickly fan out in all directions like spokes of a wheel.  Soon, those spokes develop their own nodes and send up another vine.  Soon it’s a widespread network of roots and vines from which it scatters thousands of seeds in the wind every fall.

I’m told the mustard plant was similarly invasive in ancient Israel.

image courtesy of the Univ. of Conn.
So, when Jesus compared the mustard seed to the Kingdom of Heaven, the picture was clear.  One strong group (or embassy) of committed followers would branch out in the community, take hold and build an outpost – another Kingdom community.   The Kingdom of Heaven would multiply until there were many heaven-like communities.  While I don’t want our strong Christian communities to be unwelcome, I do want them to be persistent in establishing a large network of attractive, loving, sheltering places both near and far – little bits of heaven on earth.

Is this what we call church planting? (tweet this)

Like a productive garden, a rich relationship should be tended regularly.  Get a reminder to plant His Word in your heart:  Follow me on Twitter @Cathy_Chung or subscribe at Seeds of Scripture.

#seedsofscripture #KingdomofGod #churchplant #heavenonearth #invasive

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