Hymns, Music

Mustard Seed in Song

Three years ago I found I wanted to have the congregation sing something about this coming Sunday’s gospel text, and particularly the mustard seed, but I just didn’t find anything singable enough for a smaller summertime congregation. “Amazing Grace” came to mind as a particularly singable hymn tune, and this was the result. We’ll be singing it this week, and I’m happy to share it if it might be useful.

“Mustard Seed”

~~set to AMAZING GRACE (NEW BRITAIN)~~

Oh, once there was a mustard seed
Almost too small to see.
I planted it and watched it grow
Into a spreading tree.

The tree became a home for birds;
The branches held their nests.
The birds they came from miles around
to find a place to rest.

But mustard seeds will never grow
Into such spreading trees
We tell the tale so we will know
God’s kingdom yet to be.

How can we live our lives today
to be the mustard seed?
We’ll share God’s love with all we meet
and help the ones in need.

Oh, once there was a mustard seed
Almost too small to see.
I planted it and watched it grow
Into a spreading tree.

(copyright Martha K. Spong, 2008)

8 thoughts on “Mustard Seed in Song”

  1. Very nice! Some years ago my husband wrote a hymn for my birthday with the mustard seed theme included; to the tune "Brother James' Air". I'll send it to you by email.

  2. Lovely! We're not set up to print additional words in our bulletin right now (high school student does the bulletins, so it's a very short, strict format), but I wish I could!

  3. I like it; it has a nice message, and it isn't at all forced or thumpy.Being sung to "Gilligan's Island" is the unfortunate fate of any hymn written in Common Meter. (Youth groups enjoy rediscovering this.) The good side of CM is that, if you get tired of "Amazing Grace," every hymnal has at least a dozen other tunes that fit.

  4. The tune of "Lemon Tree" keeps coming to mind:"Mustard seed, very tiny, but it grows into a tree…"Not being a poet, I won't attempt to finish that. If you want to, you're welcome to it.

Leave a Reply