Sunday, November 4, 2012

Faith (Parable of the Mustard Seed)

30"x36" Oil on Gallery Canvas

What is the kingdom of God like?

Jesus explains it to us using the imagery of a mustard seed. They are the smallest of seeds and produce trees large enough for birds to find rest in their branches. Jesus doesn't stop there. Later, in two gospels, Jesus uses the imagery again to explain the nature of faith. When his disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith, he tells them that if they had faith as small as a mustard seed, they could do wondrous things.

This painting tries to illuminate both teachings. Here you can see the scale of this paradox. The great tree has grown form the tiny seed and is host to a diversity of birds. As our faith grows, we become something greater than ourselves. We become the shelter, nurture and sustenance for others. You can also see roots in the soil—reaching deep to underground waters. These represent the "behind-the-scenes" mysteries that nourish our faith. Our baptism and the nurture of the church gives our faith the best conditions for growth. 

We need not discourage ourselves for our lack-luster feelings of faithfulness. Our limitations and shortcomings are not what defines us as people of God's kingdom. It is only the miraculous grace of God that transforms us from mediocrity into sainthood. 

May your faith so bloom.