October 24, 2007

Acorns Abound

He put before them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches. - Matthew 13

About this time of year, my yard is riddled with the presuming spread of the nearest oak tree. And with each bothersome crunch under my foot, I cannot decide if my tall, wooded friend is supremely arrogant or merely hedging his bets. Either way, he casts a blanket of minuscule abundance all over my lawn—a thousand and one little deposits in a future not yet come to pass. Surely he sees the marvelous joke in all of this: one of these (looking up) from one of those (looking down)? Please. Only small things come in small packages. Where’s my rake?

And yet. Maybe the joke’s on me. Maybe in ways I am only just learning, those annoying little seeds are parables cracking open under foot. Maybe the germs of God’s great and final purposes litter our lives today.

It’s the great joke of the New Testament: Call us Jesus’ little band of nuts, slowly but surely taking root in a different kind of soil. One day soon: trees of life.

Now that’s funny.