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29th January 2021

God in the beauty around us

From tiny beginnings

Readings: Hebrews 10:32-39; Mark 4:26-34

“What the kingdom of God is like.”

(Mark 4:26)

It’s said that the manufacturers of the mustard you buy in pots at the supermarket make their fortune from what’s left on your plate. You only need a tiny amount to flavour your food. It seems appropriate that small is beautiful when it comes to mustard, because the mustard seed is a tiny little thing. It’s one of the wonders of nature that such a substantial plant can grow from such small beginnings.

Mark’s Gospel is full of parables. Jesus was a canny teacher; he knew that he could capture people’s attention with stories that they could connect with from their own lives. Here he has chosen a plant that people would know well to help them understand how vast God’s Kingdom is. And the writer of the letter to the Hebrews has a message too: hang on in there, despite all you might endure, because so much awaits you. But something else is key to these messages: God offers an invitation but it’s up to us to accept it. If we do, we will be welcomed with arms as wide as the branches of the mustard tree.

For many people, the beauty of nature is a way to God, because God’s creation is so wondrous. So, as we go about our daily lives, we can reflect on God’s Kingdom from what we see around us. It can also remind us that we need to care for our earth – what Pope Francis calls our common home.




we yearn for the time when we come into your heavenly

Kingdom where you will shelter us.

Help us to care for the spaces on our Earth,

for the birds of the air and for all that you have created

as a sign of your goodness. Amen.