Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 97; 147:12-20, Zephaniah 3:1-7, Revelation 16:12-21, Luke 13:18-30
Potential energy is “energy possessed by a body by virtue of its position relative to others, stresses within itself, electric charge, and other factors.” Such bodies include batteries, tightly coiled springs, and a boulder balanced on a high peak. Until these things interact with the rest of the world in some way, the energy remains dormant – a potential which may or may not be realized – within them.
When Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a tiny mustard seed that grows into a great tree, or a pinch of yeast that leavens an entire loaf of bread, he is talking about releasing the potential energy of the Spirit into the world through his followers. He describes something small – say a group of twelve people in the outskirts of the Roman empire – transforming the world.
Such potential is released when its bearer interacts with its environment. The mustard seed must be sown in the earth and exposed to the elements; the yeast must be kneaded into the dough and allowed to rise. Leave a packet of either on the shelf, and eventually it expires. You can read about gardening and baking, or sing songs about them, but in order for the mustard and yeast to meet their potential, they – or rather we – have to be in the mix.
We may not know whether we are mustard or yeast until we’re given a chance to grow in the right environment. Throw yeast on the ground or mustard into the dough, and you won’t get the desired results. Some of us will grow until the birds nest in our branches, and some will toil unseen alongside countless others to feed the hungry. Both are equally important to the kingdom, which is also like a banquet, a pearl, a field, a faithful servant, etc. There is no one right way to be part of the Kingdom.
Maybe you’ve already found the way to unlock your potential. Maybe you’re still waiting. Trust the gifts God has instilled in you, and you could be amazed by them. You’ll never know until you get into the mix.
Comfort: You already have everything you need to be part of the Kingdom.
Challenge: Make a list of your talents, and your suspected talents. Think about how you could best use them to serve God.
Prayer: God of Potential, help me discover all the ways I am yours. Amen.
Discussion: Have you ever been in a situation that revealed a gift or gifts you didn’t know you had?
Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group or follow @comf_and_chall on Twitter. You’ll have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!