Marg Gobius, Leader of School Evangelisation at MacKillop College, reads from the Gospel of Luke (13: 18-21) in which Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed that grows and becomes a tree that birds find shelter in. Marg says, Luke likes to explore the parables that Jesus shared, exploring elements that are common in the lives of those he is speaking to and so, in this Gospel, he gives us two images of the Kingdom of God. One related to a tiny mustard seed that grows into a tree and the yeast used in making bread each day. Jesus was speaking with his disciples and they were having trouble understanding the nature of the Kingdom of God that Jesus was proclaiming. They had little understanding of the true nature of the Kingdom of God that they are beginning to realise they would be responsible for sharing with others. We remember that Jesus refers to the mustard seed in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark in relation to how tiny it is, and then in this Gospel he talks about how it grows to become a tree. The mustard tree is not incredibly tall, especially compared to some of our trees here in Port Macquarie, but the image that he is creating is the expanse of the tree, as seen in the image behind me. Leaving space for lots of the birds of the air to shelter in its branches. He doesn’t name the birds specifically, which some scholars see is an indication of the diversity of our Church, with people from many different cultures. Giving that message that the Kingdom of God is vast and welcoming to all. Small beginnings, large endings. The second image we see is of the Yeast in the bread; In Jesus time there was no Bakers Delight, so bread would have been made in every household every day. Because of this everyone would be familiar with how, once the yeast is added to the dough it will begin to rise. It is then punched down and it rises even more and then finally as the bread is baked the gasses continue to expand and the loaf is much larger that the lump of dough it started as. A small amount of yeast will leaven a large amount of flour to produce a much larger loaf of bread. Small beginnings, large endings. So what message can we take from this Gospel today? Marg says she thinks we are each being encouraged to keep on making small beginnings in building the Kingdom of God. Every little thing that we do in Jesus’ name, makes a difference somehow. Just consider for a minute the beginning of the church and Christianity, 12 disciples that Jesus chose – 12 guys who were not really the best or the brightest or the most desired, according to the standards of their culture. And yet Jesus chose them to build his Church. Marg says, what this tells us is that no matter who you are, no matter how small you feel, no matter how insignificant, what you feel like you know, or don’t know, if you follow Jesus, God will use you. God will use your life to impact the world. In closing, Marg invites us to consider ‘What is God asking of me today?