Worries: God’s Kingdom

by | Apr 14, 2024

With longer days and warmer temperatures, garden time is right around the corner. Some of our neighbors mowed their yard this past week. And soon enough, those determined plants we don’t want growing near our flowers and vegetables show up with persistence.

Jesus once compared the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed. He also used yeast. These seem like strange comparisons until you work with these metaphors a bit.

First, a mustard seed is tiny, but the Kingdom of God is massive. And the audience hearing these words from Jesus knew no farmer wanted mustard seeds planted near their crops. This tiny seed wreaks havoc once it matures into a pervasive weed. You really can’t stop it.

Okay, so the Kingdom of God may seem to start small, but once it catches on, it spreads quickly. And there’s no stopping it.

The mustard plant has a medicinal use. One might say it’s good for what ails you. Like the Kingdom of God.

And yeast? Yeast is a fungus with a rather pungent odor. It only takes a small amount mixed in with the flour to accomplish its purpose. The bread slowly rises and is then baked into a culinary delight. The Kingdom of God is like that. Really?

But what if you’ve already got your crops planned out? What if you don’t want smelly fungi growing around you? Well, you resist or delay.

But why would anyone want to resist or delay the Kingdom of God? What if I’m a farmer who goes to church but makes my living, growing wheat for the baker? What if I don’t think I’ve got anything ailing me that a mustard plant can cure?

And that’s where the metaphors gain strength. We’re all like that, mostly. Particularly, when things are good. We’re not really interested in change. We like things the way they are! But things change anyway. Nothing stays the same, except the Kingdom of God. And most of us worry that change won’t be what we want.

Worse, worry keeps us anxious. And neither is necessary in God’s Kingdom.

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He talked about stuff. We all have stuff we treasure. Some stuff is tangible, like a truck or home. Some stuff is intangible, like whatever security keeps us from worrying.

For example, how much money is enough that we feel secure? How good does my truck need to be for me to be content?

Jesus asks a pertinent question, “Why do you worry?” But He sets up His question with an inconvenient truth. No one can serve two masters.

Imagine that a mustard seed takes hold in your garden and your dough is rising from the small amount of yeast present in the mix. Now imagine, as you’re looking in the mirror, you’re worrying about whether the blouse that matches the pants you planned to wear is in the hamper or a drawer.

Do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own.
Matthew 6:34

A voice in your head asks, “Why are you worried about such things?”

You shrug off the question as another worry pops into focus. You’re past due for a trip to the grocery store, so now you’re worried about what you can have for dinner. Deep down, you’re really worried about what your boss is thinking about your performance at work. You can’t afford to lose your job.

There’s that other voice again. “Why are you worried about such things?” But this time you hear additional commentary. “God knows you need all these things. Focus your thoughts on God’s Kingdom.” Mustard weeds! Yeast!

The Kingdom of God is like this. It’s pervasive and demands attention. God wants to be the most important thing in your life. And this is a good thing.

You can join us each Sunday in person or online by clicking the button on our website’s homepage – Click here to watch. This button takes you to our YouTube channel. You can find more information about us on our website at FlintAsburyChurch.org.

A reminder that we publish this newsletter that we call the Circuit Rider each week. You can request this publication by email. Send a request to connect@FlintAsbury.org or let us know when you send a message through our website. We post an archive of past editions on our website under the tab, Connect – choose Newsletters.

Pastor Tommy


Parts of our series was inspired by Fr. Richard Rohr. JesusAlternative Plan. Cincinnati: Franciscan Media, 2022.

A Community in Love with God, Each Other, and our Neighbors.