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The Mustard seed Reflection II

The Mustard Seed
One of my favourite images of the Kingdom of God and the church is the mustard seed, the tiniest of seeds. This tiny seed is hidden in the mystery of the dark earth. It grows slowly and progressively over many years until it becomes a huge tree.

See the birds come and build their nests in its branches;
the creatures of the field, buck and deer, sheep and cows come and nestle in its shade;
and people come too to gather the fruit of the trees and from other trees
and they go home.
Home is a place of herbs and culinary delights, of flour and bread, of aromas arousing hunger.
The people sit around a table. They may light candle.
There they gather as family, create a feast around food, meagre or plentiful. They enter into conversation, listen to each other. They play music, tell stories of their day, of their families, their friends, or they play games. There they enter into and develop culture and a sense of belonging – for here they belong.
Yes, a tree – the mustard tree, which offers so much – roots and trunks, and branches and leaves and aromas, and shade and shelter and a spirit of abundance and thankfulness.

You will remember Jesus saying:
I am the vine and you are the branches.’ what a symbol, not just of the church but of humanity, of community and of a goodness pulsing through our branches.
How lovely when we see such a symbol of humanity in men and women. Perhaps you have seen it in your mum or dad, brother or sister – or a member of our and your community, even in these dark times.
Perhaps you have seen this in someone who has died recently from the virus and are experiencing a great sense of loss.
How lovely when we see this image of the mustard tree revealed in a person. A good friend of mine died not too long ago 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 about him, of the old and the new coming together; of the adventure of life going forward and of the beauty of the past being enjoyed, preserved and passed on.
How lovely when we see the image of the mustard tree revealed in a person. I have been fortunate in knowing many such wonderful human beings in my life. I am sure the same is true of your life.
I wrote a poem some time ago, on what trees do and I think it speaks to our 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

Like a tree we need to reach into all the good and negative spaces of the corona virus of our displaced times and bring healing, love and compassion.
With the deep conviction knowing that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Even in our difficult days, when we are feeling out of sorts, we must hold on to our deep sense of trust and faith that God is leading us through.
That in the simple things around us – stripped now of so much, we must know the treasure of our loves, and of our deep self.
And rise to give thanks for the wonderful people around us during these stressful times;
people who have been trees of goodness and a shelter in our lives;
symbols of the wonderful humanity we see in the person of Jesus.

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 Shragg

You may be able to watch a video link of this reflection

In Memoriam The Revd Canon Ian Halliday Eve 1933 – 2023

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene 11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” John 20:…

Fun Poems for my Grandchildren and others

Alex and Oooi Alex and Oooi We do not sigh We do not cry When things are tough When things are rough Alex and Oooi, Alex and Oooi We have a go, we have a try We seek advice We search, we spy How others do things Better than Oooi And when we come through…

Poems from the Cederberg

Dear Friends and followers of my blog, Re: Poems from the Cederberg Every years in November I am invited to the Cederberg mountains in the Cape by the Diocesan College Epic programme. My particular task is to take  groups  of grade 10s, about 15 in a group, on a trail through the Bushmen caves near…

Soul food

Poems read by ordinary people. Marina by T.S.Eliot read by Melanie Steyn, a mother, teacher, storyteller and poet. Melanie writes:
T.S. Eliot’s poem, Marina, belongs to the group of poems which have been designated as “The Arial Poems” composed during 1927 and 1930. After his conversion to Anglicanism in 1927, Eliot began to write a new kind of poetry which “seems to represent a withdrawal from the outer world and an exploration of the inner life under the guidance of Christianity. “Published in 1930, Marina is Eliot’s touching personal poem. The poem explores the theme of paternity by focusing on the rediscovery of his lost daughter of William Shakespeare’s Pericles. Marina is the name of the daughter of Pericles who has not seen her right from her birth as he was running away from his enemy facing miseries and threats on land and sea. It is in Act V of Shakespeare’s play, Pericles, Prince of Tyre that Pericles finds out that the dancer and singer performing before him is none else but his daughter. The dancing girl reminds him of his wife Thaisa. He talks to the girl, and is overjoyed to find that Marina is his daughter and her mother had died while giving birth to her.

Dorian Haarhoff, a poet and master storyteller, has been sharing a story with his friends for every day of the Corona Virus lock down.

Dorian and story time

John Donald photographer and Cape Birds

One comment on “The Mustard seed Reflection II

  1. susanmargaretsarah says:

    *Leaves to Light*

    A seed planted

    No knowledge

    but to push

    to sun

    go to ground

    Rooted in soft soil

    leaves to light

    Out into

    the world

    hard ground

    harsh winds

    dark sky

    Still grow

    bark covered

    leaves to light

    Spread limbs

    drop leaves

    push sap

    through buds

    bloom fruit

    Brittle branches

    crack to ground

    Through roots

    I take their dust

    into my core

    Wounds of amber

    leaves to light

    Taller wider

    broad and shaded

    still I seek

    the deeper earth

    a higher sky

    a quiet night

    Shed myself

    Stand bare

    Shoot fresh leaves to light

    hi Bob thanks for treed sermon x beautiful x i send a tree poem x sue

    Sue Gow 0834675995 0216853684 504 New Rosedale SA Legion Lower Nursery Road Rosbank 7700


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