Visit from UFM mission partners Michael and Steph Baldwin

Visit from UFM mission partners Michael and Steph Baldwin

In June we were visited by Michael and Steph Baldwin, our

UFM mission partners In Eurasia.

Here is a summary of the sermon Michael preached, ‘The

glory of the ordinary’ which fits well with the theme of this


Do you find it hard to see how the mundane

things in life contribute to the kingdom of God –

the rule of God that broke in when Jesus arrived?

In Luke 13:18-21 he told 2 parables, the mustard

seed and the yeast, which tells us:

  1. The kingdom has a beginning more ordinary

than you expected

It won’t arrive with a mighty army – it’s more like a

tiny mustard seed hidden in the ground, or a

small amount of yeast hidden in a batch of dough.

The people of the kingdom are very ordinary – but

worshipping an extraordinary King. We expect

Jesus to be born in a palace but he’s born in a

feeding trough; we expect him to ride into

Jerusalem on a war horse, but he arrives on a

donkey; we expect him to vanquish Israel’s

enemies, but he allows them to vanquish him on

the cross.

Do you feel your ordinary life can’t possibly serve

God’s kingdom? Jesus spent years in obscurity, so

there is infinite worth in our obscurity for his glory;

Jesus was a carpenter, so there is infinite worth in

your everyday work for his glory. Learn to glory in

the ordinary, by doing it for our extraordinary

King! God chooses to grow his kingdom through

ordinary people doing ordinary things.


  1. The kingdom has a middle more delayed

than you desired

The Jews were expecting a complete and

instantaneous coming of the kingdom, but Jesus

said there was going to be a gap between his first

coming and his return as Judge. There is a ‘delay’

from when the mustard seed is put in the ground

to when it appears, from when the yeast is put

in the dough to when it rises. Jesus ushers in

the kingdom but it won’t be completed until

he returns.

Our daily lives often have ‘delays’, seasons of

waiting – but with these parables Jesus

prepares us. In God’s kingdom things often

take longer than we expect but don’t despair –

the mustard seed is growing, the yeast is



  1. The kingdom has an ending more glorious

than you ever dreamed

The tiny mustard seed grows to a glorious tree!

We see the kingdom growing now – a little hint

of the glorious ending. The ‘birds of the air

perching in its branches’ is a reference (Ezekiel

31:6) to the nations coming into the kingdom.

It’s not just for Wilmslow, not just for people like

us, it is for all the nations of the earth, so

welcome the nations God is bringing to us here

in the UK. One day God’s kingdom will be

glorious – a wedding banquet where Jesus is

the groom, and the church is his bride, and on

that day it will be all worth it! Do the ordinary

things for God’s glory, and let the delays teach

you hope, because one day the ending will be

more glorious than you ever dreamed.