Do you remember the parable about having faith the size of a mustard seed or the one about the farmer who sowed into his field a mustard seed, the tiniest of seeds, that grew into the largest of herbs? Jesus mentions the mustard seed numerous times in his teachings. He imparts to us a simple and profound truth which is, even the tiniest amount of faith has the potential to grow and blossom into something monumental.
Matthew 17:20, Jesus says, “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
In the winter of 2020, Mrs. Seib’s third-grade class had a lesson on the parable of the mustard seed. “There was the lesson of the parable and also a lesson in science on plant growth at that time,” she remembers. “We planted the seed in small pots in our classroom and watched them as they grew.” It’s a lesson and activity she’s done many times. Instead of mustard seeds, they plant mammoth sunflower seeds, and after a few weeks, students take their tiny plants home to plant in their yards.
AMCS student, Claire Kugler, remembers planting the seed in class and how much she enjoyed the activity. She was able to take her plant home when it was still small with only a couple of leaves. “At first we put it in a room inside our house, but then we planted it in our garden. My mom would help me water it,” she smiles.
About the time the plant reached six feet Claire says she was really surprised, “I was just really excited that it kept getting bigger and bigger; my mom would measure it so we knew how big it was growing.” And it continued to grow; all summer long. Then the week Ave Maria Catholic School began the 2021-2022 school year, at over 12 feet tall, the mammoth sunflower bloomed. “It was really special it bloomed the week we went back to school. I had been away from home and feel it waited until we got back to open. The flower was almost the size of a basketball!”
At its tallest, Claire’s mammoth sunflower grew to 14 feet. Mrs. Seib remarks that she’s never seen one grow that large. Now, almost 5 weeks later, the bloom has begun to fade. “It’s started to turn brown and tilt over,” Claire gestures, leaning towards one side. “We’re going to wait until it’s completely turned and then shake the seeds out to plant more.”
Claire remembers the mustard seed parable and the lesson that having a little faith in God, like a small seed, can bring great things - because our God is an awesome God! We must believe in Him and not worry about what we can or can't do. God does not ask us to do more than we can. He wants us to be willing to do His work. He'll provide the rest.
Our part is to have the faith...faith the size of a mustard seed or even perhaps that of a sunflower seed.