“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
There are three things to set before our thoughts today. They are:
- There is a largely unseen world on earth today. It is worth seeing.
- All of the plants on earth have a purpose. Dill is one astonishing plant.
- The unseen world of the dill flower is a reminder. We are called to justice, mercy and faithfulness.
First, the largely unseen world. It is best seen through a camera lens. The photos provide strong evidence. When these pictures were taken, the dill plant was shaded. At first glance, each dill flower appeared to be alone. The reason my eyes were attracted to the dill at all was the presence of a Black Tiger swallowtail butterfly. My goal to photograph it revealed a significant number of other insects on the dill, the herb that makes dill pickles delicious. The first attempt produced fuzzy caterpillar pictures. The second trip, just 3 hours later found the caterpillar out of sight. It was then my eyes noticed the other insects. Syrphid Flies, a lady bug, common house flies and an insect which appears to be a wasp but is likely a fly because of the large eyes all were taking nectar from the miniature dill flowers. The whole of this experience left me amazed anew. While neighbors mowed their lawns and people sped past in cars to unknown destinations, the dill plants in our garden were hosting an amazing invertebrate spectacle.
Next, set your thoughts on dill. Yes, the dill of dill pickles. Dill is thought to have been used by ancient people as early as 5,000 years ago. Early people did not limit dill to the one function of seasoning dill pickles. The health benefits of this long-used plant truly surprise me: (To be realistic-dill is good for your health, but it is not the “fountain of youth.”)
Greeks used it as a symbol of wealth . This fact may have been the reason Jesus spoke of dill when He criticized the scribes and Pharisees. Dill reminds us today that each of us are called to justice, mercy and faithfulness.
He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” Matthew 23:23 The wealthy used dill as an offering when Jesus walked the earth. They were free and easy with their wealth. They had riches in abundance. Jesus sharply criticized them for missing the more important truth in life. Wealthy or not, we are called to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Jesus called this the second great commandment. Justice, mercy and faithfulness: we are to give them to others. Jesus wants this before He wants our wealth.
Dill is amazing…part of a beautiful, unseen world; filled with health benefits; and a living example of what Jesus has called us to be as we live our lives. Oh, when we fail at justice, mercy, and faithfulness; He gives His forgiveness and then strength to fulfill His call to love others. How faithful He is.
I planted more dill in our garden this morning.