Yesterday's children's sermon went very well. The children came up just after the Gospel reading, Mark 4: 26-34. Much of the text revolved around mustard seeds. A few weeks ago, I found a cheap jar of mustard seeds and snatched it up. I made baggies of mustard seeds, which I gave the children. We talked about seeds and mustard and spicing up our hot dogs. We talked about what Jesus means when he uses the phrase "Kingdom of God," that it's more than just Heaven.
We also talked about faith, and I mentioned a different passage that talks about faith as small as a mustard seed. We peered at the bags and talked about how small the seeds are.
Below is a photo of seeds with a pencil, so you get a sense of perspective:
We talked about how large a seed can grow, that a mustard seed can grow into a five foot shrub. I had one of the nursery helpers, a teenager, stand up to demonstrate how tall 5 feet is. Small seed -- 5 foot teen. It was a great visual.
On Thursday, I started sprouting some mustard seeds. I laid out two paper towels, spread out the seeds, folded the paper towels and wet them. I kept them wet and moved them in and out of light. I thought I might have started too late, but no, we had sprouts!
When I unwrapped them, the children's eyes got wide and they oohed and aahed. I reminded them that they had a bag of seeds, and they could do the same thing. I cautioned them not to plant them in the yard. I reminded them that mustard has a reputation of taking over everything. A small seed can take over a space as big as the church!
And then I tied it back to the Kingdom of God and the wonderful things that happen when God is set loose in the world.
I wanted them to have seedlings too, so my spouse planted some Salvia sprouts for anyone who wanted them. I said that my spouse was like the man in the first part of the Gospel, the one surprised by the seed growing into a plant.
I thought the children's sermon went really well. Of course, I was blessed with an easy text. Fun with seeds--maybe we'll do some more with that for Vacation Bible School!