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Dear COA Family,

In Luke 13:18-19, we read: “Then Jesus asked, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.'”

Mustard seeds are the small round seeds of various mustard plants. The seeds are usually about 1 to 2 millimetres in diameter, so small that you can hardly notice it when it is placed in your hand. Yet from this seed, a large tree can grow such that even birds can come and rest on its branches.

I believe that the Lord is teaching us two things from this parable.

Firstly, everything in the kingdom of God starts small. Christianity began with Jesus, a humble Jewish man living out God’s purposes in the land of Palestine more than two thousand years ago. He then called to himself twelve disciples whom he appointed to share the good news of God’s kingdom to the world.

What can a motley band of fishermen, tax collectors and political hotheads do? Through the Spirit’s empowerment they spread the gospel at the cost of their lives and today, Christianity is the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.8 billion adherents representing one third of the world’s population.

This same principle is illustrated with Jesus feeding the five thousand. He used five loaves and two small fishes. The Bible tells us that multitude ate and were well fed, with twelve baskets of leftover picked up. And it all started with a boy’s small offering.

Secondly, nothing can hinder the potential and growing power of God’s kingdom. From Jesus’ parable, the growth of the mustard seed seems inevitable. God is the one who watches over the seed of his word to grow (1 Corinthians 3:6). We can be comforted that our responsibility is to sow the seed and God will definitely do the rest.

That is why we are unflagging in our Chaplaincy work in our schools – SAJS, AK and LSP (Ascension). All the mustard seeds of the gospel, however small and insignificant, will bear fruit for God’s kingdom in due time in the lives of the young ones.

It is also why we are persevering in our ministry to different people groups as well. Our Lord is the one who will build his church and the powers of hell will not succeed in preventing its advance (Matthew 16:18). The Holy Spirit will strengthen and prosper us in our work for him.

So, let’s be encouraged and continue to serve with all our heart. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

Have a blessed week ahead!

Revd Ian