Call to Worship
L: Eternal One, Silence
P: from whom my words come;
P: from whom my questions arise;
P: in whom alone I find my rest;
P: in whose depths I find healing and myself;
ALL: Enfold me now in your presence; restore me in your peace; renew me through your power; and ground me in your grace. Amen.
Gracious God, during this season of Ordinary Time make us mindful of your extraordinary grace. Help us to see the signs of your kingdom in sowers and seeds. Make us attentive to good news, to small occasions, and the grace of what is possible for us to be, to do, to give, and to receive. Amen.
Old Testament Reading
Thus says the Lord God: I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of a cedar; I will set it out. I will break off a tender one from the topmost of its young twigs; I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it, in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar. Under it every kind of bird will live; in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind. All the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord. I bring low the high tree, I make high the low tree; I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken; I will accomplish it.
He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.