Photo was taken at the Lourdes Shrine, Lourdes, France
Picture: Getty Images

This is another picture from the flooding in Lourdes.
France was hit with very heavy rain over the past few weeks with lots of flooding. Lourdes in the far south west was badly affected. The grotto area and other parts of the town were completely flooded. Locals described the flooding as unprecedented and the volume of water rushing through did lots of damage. Up in the Pyrenees mountains some of the roads that the Tour De France will be passing through in a few weeks were completely washed away. So its possible that some of those stages will have to be re routed.

Thought on Sunday – June – 17/06/2018

Jesus also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’ ~Mark 4:28-31

Our Thought For Today is by Jane Mellett called ‘From small seeds’

The parable of the mustard seed seems pretty straight forward at first glance, but as always there is more to it than first meets the eye. Jesus did not compare the Kingdom of God to a majestic tree. There is an ancient text which forbade planting mustard seeds in Palestinian gardens because the shrub takes over wherever it is planted. It is wild, gets out of control, and attracts unwanted birds. The kingdom of God grows from something small to something large, but more than that, its growth is overwhelming and it will grow even where it is not wanted. Author and activist, Shane Claiborne, compares it to kudzu, a wild vine that could blanket entire mountain areas, smother trees, even crack cement buildings.

People of Jesus’ time may have preferred the image of the lofty ‘cedars of Lebanon’ to explain God’s kingdom, where the nations could build nests like the eagles do. Now that image may have gotten a few cheers from the crowd! Mustard plants however, only stand a few feet tall. Jesus is turning the ideals of power and triumph on their head again. The image we have here is of the birds who find a home in this little shrub which cannot be curtailed. It will grow even where it is not wanted. Watch out this week for glimpses of this ‘mustard seed’ kingdom quietly growing.