Our Stephen Ministry distributed Mustard Seed ornaments this weekend during all three services at our church.
The front of each card has a Christmas star with a mustard seed glued to the center:
The back looks like this:
Our purpose in making and giving these ornaments was to draw attention to those who quietly suffer through the holidays. Those who have lost loved ones, jobs, friends, marriages, homes, independence, or health often cannot summon even an ounce of joy or hope during the holidays. In fact, everyone else's happiness can make their sadness and pain worse.
That's where the mustard seed comes in.
Jesus teaches that the kingdom of God starts with a tiny mustard seed of faith. Our hope at times may be very small, like that mustard seed, but hand that seed over to God, and He will grow it. It won't become a big tree in the kingdom overnight; that takes time. But if you can trust Him, even just a little bit, your seed of faith will grow into a kingdom of hope.
At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ, a tiny baby who grew into a man. His birth brought hope into the world, a hope of infinite power and promise. But when he was tiny, his family didn't have a room in the inn, was forced to flee from Herod, and lived in exile for a while to protect that tiny hope.
When our own hope is small, we can call to mind that tiny baby and know that hope in Christ isn't small at all. We don't have to pretend to be happy or feel guilty that our feelings aren't in tune with the season. We just have to think about that mustard seed and trust that God's got it covered.
Because He does.