search instagram arrow-down

The Mustard Seed

The Mustard Seed

August Reflection 2017

One of my favourite images of the Kingdom of God, and the church is the mustard seed, the tiniest of seeds (its presence and energy hidden in mystery) which becomes a huge tree, so that the birds come and nest in its branches, the creatures of the field nestle in its shade, and people come take the fruit –go home, sit around a table, light a candle and create a feast of food, conversation and culture.

How lovely when we see this image revealed in a person. A good friend of mine John Cobby died recently at the age of 93. He was such a person, a forester in Kenya, and South Africa. I got to know him in his later years. He had such green fingers, hands like soil, he could make plants grow in his hands. Flowers streamed like crimson rivers from his pots. I enjoyed his knowledge, conversation and humanity – loved the way he and his wife made friends with younger people. He was the delight of his whole family, all his grandchildren – a huge tree. There are two words that speak of him”: hospitality and invitation.

He was like the householder in the parable who took out of his store: things old and things new.

There was that sense of about him, of the old and the new coming together, and of the adventure of life going forward.

How lovely when we see the image of the mustard tree revealed in a person.

Two poems on the theme.



Trees I see you in a new way,

You are the great earth mothers,

You rise from her depths like a hand,

and where there is nothing,

Slowly, steadily, you reach

into it. And you say to us,

see nothing teems with life.

The song of birds celebrate sky

Insects burrow mansions unimaginable

Water falls and rises with a heartbeat

Shadows shape new moments

and moons ease through your leaves.

Mornings you bathe with fragrances

and like one who nurtures,

you give your bark, your leaves and fruit,

even your tears of resin.

Teasing our imaginations you say,

What will you do with these?

You say, when will you take

your hand and reach into nothing.

Bob Commin




Tree  Blessing


Soak up the sun

Affirm life’s magic

Be graceful in the wind

Stand tall after a storm

Feel refreshed after it rains

Grow strong without notice

Be prepared for each season

Hang tough through a cold spell

Emerge renewed at the first signs of spring

Stay deeply rooted while reaching for the sky

Be still long enough to

hear your own leaves rustling.

I ShraggIMG_2386

One comment on “The Mustard Seed

  1. Robin says:

    Great analogy, Bob. I like the parable of the Vine for similar reasons 🙂


Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: