NARRATOR: Jesus spoke to the crowd in parables. He sat in a boat on the sea while they sat beside the sea on the land.
JESUS: This is how it is with the reign of God. A farmer scatters seed on the ground, goes to bed, and gets up day after day. Through it all the seed sprouts and grows without the farmer knowing how it happens. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, finally the farmer wields the sickle, for the time is ripe for the harvest.
NARRATOR: Jesus went on to say —
JESUS: With what can we compare the reign of God, or what image will help to present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when planted in the soil, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown, springs up to become the largest of shrubs with branches big enough for the birds of the sky to build nests in its shade.
NARRATOR: By means of many such parables Jesus taught people the message in a way they could understand. To them he spoke only by way of parables, while he kept explaining things to his disciples.
Sunday Readings: Ezekiel 17.22-24; 2 Corinthians 5.6-10; Mark 4.26-34