Hymns, Mark 4:26-34, Matthew 13:31-33, Mustard Seed

Mustard Seed – a hymn text

mustard treeBecause both the Mark and Matthew lections about the mustard seed come up in summer, I looked for a hymn to match that would be singable for a smaller or less musically enthusiastic congregation. I wrote this hymn text to be sung to NEW BRITAIN (Amazing Grace). Other Common Meter (CM) tunes that fit well are AZMON and LAND OF REST.

You are welcome to use it with credit; let me know where in the comments. Thanks!

“Mustard Seed”

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)

48 thoughts on “Mustard Seed – a hymn text”

  1. Martha – would like to use “Mustard Seed” at Crossroads Church PC(USA) in Waterford, CT. Thank you very much!

  2. I’m going to use the words as part of our intercessions tomorrow, Martha. We have a united benefice service at All Saints, Great Bourton, in Oxfordshire, UK. Thank you!

  3. We are having a community garden planted at our church Knox-St. Pauls in Cornwall Ontario and it’s being called the Mustard Seed Garden. We are doing a hymn sing for the ground breaking and this song is perfect.

      1. Our choir director used the tune of Forest Green and it worked very well. It was a huge success. Thank you for allowing us to use your beautiful lyrics.

  4. We are a small 125 year old church on a tiny island in Lake Erie. The island is called Pelee island and we are the southern most inhabited land in Canada. The minister thinks he can stump me with sermon topics and relevant hymns. Wait until he sees this on Sunday.
    Thank-you.

  5. Permission to use at Sunday Worship (June 17). Immanuel Lutheran Church, Killeen, TX

  6. ..will use “the mustard seed” in service at our Uniting Church on Sunday Thanks
    Ian from Kilcoy Queensland Australia

  7. I plan to use “Mustard Seed” this Sunday at Trinity Lutheran in Tullahoma, TN. It’s the perfect sermon hymn for this Sunday. Thank you so much!

  8. I would like to use it at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wells, Minnesota on sunday, August 8, 2018. Thank you!

  9. I hope to use this at the end of a Godly Play worship time at Christ Church Morningside in Edinburgh next week. The words are beautiful

  10. I’d love to use this for our junior church St Mary’s Hanwell on Sunday – we are covering this exact parable this week!

  11. Would like to use for online Facebook service on 26 July for The Lutheran Church of The Open Hand. Will def give credit!

  12. I would like to request use of your Mustard Seed hymn lyrics on July 26, 2020. Due to Covid-19 we aren’t singing in worship but each week we read the lyrics of a hymn. Yours would be perfect for this coming Sunday.

  13. I would love to use this for our service next Sunday if you will grant me oermission. It is beautiful.

    1. sorry that should have been permission and it is for a service at St. John’s Westphal Anglican Church in Nova Scotia

  14. Dear Martha, I really liked your poem/worship song and as the editor of our weekly Pew News (for St Mary’s Church, Little Baddow, Essex UK) I wanted to include it in this week’s issue as the Reading and Reflection was ‘The Parable of the Mustard seed’.
    Thank you for allowing me to use it.

  15. We would love to use your Mustard Seed poem on Sunday, October 4 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newburyport MA at one streaming service. Thank you for your consideration.
    Deb Hay, Parish Administrator

  16. We would like to use your lyrics at St Anthony’s in Waiuku, New Zealand, on 13th June 2021, please. It’s lovely, thanks so much for making it available.

  17. Hello, Martha- I have been asked to sing a solo at East Side Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD on June 13, 2021. I would very much like to use your wonderful lyrics with your permission. Thank you!

  18. Thank you for this hymn! I’m using it again this year (with gratitude, and attiribution, of course!). One suggestion — “The birds soon came…” instead of “The birds they came”?

  19. We would like to use this text on June 13, 2021 in our worship service. We’re going to sing it to the AMAZING GRACE tune.
    Mr. Beattie Evans, Director of Music
    First Presbyterian Church
    Monroe, GA

  20. Martha, I’d like to use this hymn text on June 13, 2021 in the worship service of Reidland United Methodist Church in Paducah, KY. Thank you!

  21. Hello Ms. Spong,
    We’d like permission to use “Mustard Seed” on Sunday, June 13, 2021, at First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lexington, NC. May we?

    Thank you,
    Kelly Newsome

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