“Then…” Luke tells us that on this trip to the cross, Jesus has just healed a woman crippled by an evil spirit on the Sabbath and that the leaders in the synagogue objected. Work cannot be done on the Sabbath they claim but Jesus reframes the objection to, “But kindness can be done on any day.” “Then…” Jesus turns everyone’s attention to the kingdom of heaven. Kindness and Kingdom are related! Being crippled and being harassed by evil spirits is a big thing. War is a big thing. Disease and famine and cruelty are big things. The issues we are facing are big things. An act of prayer, an act of kindness even done on the Sabbath, changed that woman’s life and included her back into society. It is a taste of the kingdom of heaven coming to earth. Not only her life was changed but also the Jewish people were changed. The good deed trickled down through the centuries, teaching us.
The kingdom of God starts like something small, like a mustard seed or yeast, a kind deed and the course of history is changed for the good. We could probably say a cruel deed changes the course of history also, for the worse. Who can replace all the history and culture destroyed by the bombs in civilian areas and the killing of lives in war? Good and evil have a ripple affect. They are like yeast in our soul and history.
We may debate whether the mustard seed is truly the smallest seed or we can embrace the truth that a kindness done has far-reaching benefits that we may never live to see. Let us spend a few minutes pondering a kindness, a mustard seed that could be planted today. A smile or an unexpected email or phone call can change the direction of today for someone. Maybe we cannot fight the war but we can sow kindness. The kingdom of God is like those small deeds that ripple throughout our culture and help make our world a better place to live. Blessings as you do an act of kindness today. Blessings.