The readings today remind us that poetic imagery is an apt way of describing the mysterious presence of God in our midst. The cedar began as a seedling that takes years to grow into a magnificent tree. The same is true of the mustard tree. It too requires time to develop its trunk and branches. The development of moral integrity in a human being is just as gradual. Rooted in God, it flourishes in God’s presence and it produces fruit even into old age. Although God is present in all things, sustaining them and allowing them to follow their natural courses, God really transcends all things. Metaphorical language may be the best means for speaking about God and the things of God. It enables us to live in the tension that both reveals something about God and conceals God’s real nature. The reign of God also begins in very ordinary circumstances, and it matures gradually until it has spread itself far and wide. Although the mystery of the reign of God unfolds within human history, we need eyes of faith to recognise it. Like the cedar and the mustard seed, it grows within the concreteness of human experience. Just as the life force that thrusts the branches of the trees further and further out cannot itself be seen, so the reign of God is mysterious, even incomprehensible. Still, it is there, inviting us, urging us to move forward, transforming our world.