Today is National Mustard Day. Enjoy a zesty ham, cheese, and mustard sandwich, or a classic mustard covered hot dog, and consider that Jesus used mustard as an example several times.

A bottle of Heinz mustard.
National Mustard Day.
Photo by Pedro Ribeiro on Unsplash

The History of National Mustard Day

The exact year when people started to celebrate mustard is not known, but it was in 1991 when The Mustard Museum sponsored the first National Mustard Day.  It’s been observed on the first Saturday of August ever since.  The Mustard Museum holds a festival every year where people can come out and enjoy various varieties of mustard. This year, due to COVID-19, they will be holding their festival virtually with a live stream.

The Mustard Museum has over 5,600 jars of mustard in their collection in Middleton, Wisconsin.  Admission is completely free; they charge nothing to come in and explore the wonders of mustard.  They also have a tasting bar and a gift shop.  If you’re a mustard enthusiast, the next time you’re in the Middleton area, stop by and check out this fascinating museum.  

And on this beautiful Saturday, August 1st, if you’re enjoying a pleasant meal, or having a barbecue, consider spicing up your food with some mustard.  A little kick is always lovely on a sandwich or as a marinade for pork chops.  A nice full-bodied and peppery red wine might go well with such a meal too. 

A pile of mustard seeds.
Mustard seeds.
Photo by Novalis at en.wikipedia

Faith Is like a Mustard Seed

This is Christ Aroono, the faith-based section of the Aroono Blog Network, so why am I talking about National Mustard Day?  Well, because one of the most famous analogies that is made in the Bible is having faith the size of a mustard seed.  You see, mustard seeds are tiny, somewhere between 1 to 2 millimeters in diameter, in fact.  However, from that small seed grows a plant with beautiful yellow flowers. When crushed and mixed with water, vinegar, or other things, you get mustard, which can be a robust flavor with some heat to it.

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Matthew 17:20 (NLT)

Hebrews 11 defines what faith is, and it says in Romans 12 that every believer has the measure of faith.  We have the faith we need, and according to Jesus, it doesn’t take a lot to change our world.  Mustard seed faith is enough to move mountains.  But faith requires action, and sometimes we’re not doing our part and hoping that things will change. We need to add works to our faith to activate it.

Faith is powerful, just like the flavor of mustard.  When we have even a small amount of faith, God can do mighty things through you and in you.  Jesus used something as tiny as a mustard seed as a way to prove a point, and all these years later, we still make that analogy.  I think He understood something about faith that Christians need to tap into.

A yellow mustard flower.
Mustard flower.
Photo by Erfan Afshari on Unsplash

The Kingdom of Heaven Is like a Mustard Seed

Something tells me Christ liked mustard because faith is not the only thing Jesus compared a mustard seed to.  He also refers to the Kingdom of Heaven as a mustard seed and how it grows.  This analogy referees to how small seeds can transform into something much bigger.

Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field.  It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”

Matthew 13:31-32 (NLT)

The Kingdom of Heaven starts small but grows bigger and bigger; it becomes so large that birds can rest in its branches.  What is this telling us?  The Kingdom of Heaven needs to grow.  And just like a seed, it needs the right conditions to grow, but when it does, it can produce more and more seeds, which helps the Kingdom expand even further.

The Kingdom of Heaven is something that needs to affect the world here and now.  It’s not some metaphorical kingdom that God will one day create.  Jesus established it.  The Church is part of the Kingdom of Heaven, and it’s here now.  And, like a mustard seed, it will grow and expand.

So, today, as you’re enjoying your mustard, take a moment to think about how God used the tasty spice as an analogy for faith and the Kingdom of Heaven.  With just a little faith, we can move mountains.  And check out the National Mustard Museum if you get the opportunity.  

What dishes do you enjoy with mustard?  Leave a comment below.