Pollen - Monday Musing, June 6, 2022
Pollen – a fine powdery substance, typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from a flower. Pollen is torturous for those of us who have allergies. Our cars are covered with the nasty yellow film every day – we give up washing it off since the film magically appears the next day. I noticed a yellow powder on the Cape Cod Rail Trail as I biked on Saturday; we see the fine dust everywhere we turn. The four seasons should be renamed to Summer, Fall, Winter, and Pollen! The pollen season is here – there is no avoiding this annual heralding of allergies that we endure every year.
One might think that pollen is not important enough to highlight with all the things going on in our world today – gun violence and endless mass shootings, racism, housing shortage, inflation, war in Ukraine, discrimination, food insecurity, economic distress – surely pollen falls low on the priority list, right? What if we thought of pollen not as an annual annoyance, but as a metaphor for ministry? Our missional work is microscopic in the grand scheme of things, so what impact are we really able to make in the world?
Jesus was a master of teaching truths through parables, short stories that teach a moral or spiritual lesson using ordinary everyday experiences. Some stories were based on the agriculture familiar to the people in those times. Parables tell important lessons, designed to cause a person to think and have new attitudes and behaviors that would lead one to seek the treasure God offers. In the Gospel of Luke, we read: “(Jesus) said therefore, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches’” (13:18-19). The mustard seed is the smallest of small, just like pollen.
Yesterday on Pentecost we celebrated the Holy Spirit descending on the followers of Jesus. Jesus started growing the kin-dom of God with a handful of disciples, who we find cross-pollinated starting on Pentecost. Every follower of Jesus is a part of the movement of “The Way” Jesus started, which includes us today. Each time we do any act of ministry in Jesus’ name, we are helping to grow the kin-dom of God. So, our microscopic missional efforts – combined with others – spreads God’s love like pollen. Sure, with all the human needs in our world, we cannot do it all, but that does not minimize our impact. Ask the person who is in our prayers, receives a helping hand, a kind note, advocacy effort, financial gift, or receives our ministry of presence – all that we do grows, spreading season after season. Our community of faith has been doing this since 1646!
So welcome and treasure the pollen you see everywhere; we are covering our corner of the world with God’s love. See you in church!