Mustard. I have always had an affinity for the spicy yellow stuff. After the move to France, I quickly discovered the delight of moutarde de meaux, a yummy condiment which dates back to the 1600s and is sold in stone crocks. It consists of tiny mustard seeds and spices in a vinegar sauce. Think Dijon mustard, in a grainy form, but with a smoother taste - not as acidic as American varieties can sometimes be. Delicious. Flavorful. Tiny doses can go on, in, and with almost everything.
While mustard seeds have claimed their share of culinary attention for centuries, they have also provided spiritual imagery across many religious traditions. In the 5th century BCE, Siddhartha told a story of a grieving mother who was asked to bring a mustard seed to the Buddha for every family she could find that had never suffered a loss. Unable to find any, she realised she should not remain selfish in her grief.
The Koran states that on the Day of Judgment, the scales of justice will be established and no soul will suffer the least injustice. Even the equivalent of a mustard seed will be accounted for by the efficient and just God.
Jewish texts compare the size of the universe to a grain of mustard, to indicate the insignificance of the physical world and to teach humility.
And in the Christian New Testament, Christ Jesus speaks of the kingdom of heaven as "like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches." Matthew 13:31, 32
Jesus parable instructs as to the innate power - the spiritual sense - that belongs to each one of God's children. Already planted in each of us, spiritual sense is developing right where we feel our understanding and faith is "the least". It leads us to the fact that our spirituality is actually "the greatest." A grain of the truth of God, and of man as His reflection, "contains a divine energy and indestructible vitality, so that from its humblest beginnings it expands to embrace and bless the world." ( See the "mustard seed" references in Berenice Shotwell's Getting Better Acquainted with your Bible)
Just the other day, as I walked down a sunny Paris street towards my office, I contemplated divine Love and how I could accept that God, as Love, was brighter than the sun, more expansive than the sky, more solid and permanent than the stone walls I passed. The similes continued as I walked down the street. With each one, I felt more and more the powerful reality of God's love and of my own understanding of it.
Later in the day, walking back up the same street to take the metro to catch a train home, I was feeling burdened by a case. I felt like I didn't know how to pray my way, or the patient's way, out of a paper bag. My understanding of God felt insignificant and small. Then I remembered my morning thoughts of God's immense love. That seed of understanding had already been planted. I needed to trust the divine energy and indestructible vitality of God's immense love and let it expand in my heart and bless the patient. Love planted the seed of this understanding in me. Divine Love was nurturing the growth of the seed. Of course it would bear fruit, because Love was the husbandman.
By the time I was home, the patient was healed.
If you would like some MOJO for your prayers today - that is, if you would like to feel the confidence and to experience the authority of God in your prayers:
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no