31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
If you went to school, work, or rode public transportation with people of other races today, you’re just a bird on a branch. That’s right. Stuff you don’t even think about started with acts so small you wouldn’t even connect the dots if history didn’t do it for you. Think about it. A woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the back of the bus which ultimately produced Sequoia trees of equality. We simply get to sit in the branches and enjoy it.
Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like this. It’s a bunch of little things that end of making a huge difference. It’s my Great Grandma Gripe refusing to give up on God and give up on her family when her husband walked out on her. I know there are thousands of people who were positively influenced by that small act with nobody cheering. I say thousands because many on the branches of her family tree follow Christ and have influenced hundreds of others to follow Christ. It’s a Sunday school teacher like Edward Kimball who leads evangelist D.L. Moody to Christ or for that matter the Methodist Sunday School teacher who led John Nordstrom (my dad) to Christ. I’m just a bird on a branch baby! Sounds like a country music song doesn’t it?
Seriously though, what small act might you do today that could make a huge difference? It could be a simple as being kind to somebody at work and they conclude that following Christ really might make a difference in their life. They may not fall to their knees at the water cooler, but I think conversions happen because of lots of little “mustard seeds” dropped in cubicles at work or in the hallways at school that end up being a big deal.
I have a facebook friend named Amy Accord Smith. I knew her when I was a youth leader in Kentucky. She came to church and credits me with helping her get her spiritual start. Her dad was agnostic and her mom was not supportive of her coming to church. I didn’t even remember it, but she told me I baptized her. She said I shared a Psalm, “When your mother and father forsake you, the Lord will take you up.” Her mother became so resistant she kicked Amy out of the house at age 14. She lived with catholic neighbors for quite a while. Her mother finally allowed her to move back in. The the next day, Amy’s mother came to church and was filled with the Holy Spirit. I’ve baptized hundreds of people, but Amy’s baptism took. She became a power house for God. Amy has an incredibly anointed singing voice and has made a couple of albums. She is married to a pastor and they are influencing thousands through their ministry. I had so little to do with all that has transpired in her life, but it is my privilege to plant mustard seeds, and to sit in the branches of great trees and watch the kingdom grow.
If you are a Christ follower, you’re just a bird on a branch. Thousands of little acts came together to lead you to that decision. If you haven’t yet accepted God’s free gift of salvation, do it today. It’s so simple it’s almost embarrassing to explain it. You just admit, you are sinner, believe that Jesus died and rose again to pay the price for our sins, and invite him to be the boss of your life. It’s one small thing that will make a huge difference in your life now and guarantee you a spot in heaven. From that vantage point will look back with wonder to know that we get to experience an eternity of joy from one small act. Incidentally, my Great Grandma Gripe had a daughter named Ina who was my grandmother who married my grandfather Robert Bird who is still going strong at 96. So it’s literally true for me. I’m just a Bird on a branch.