“Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.””
In my defense, I was busy.
(I’ve also always been rather – scatterbrained. They don’t call me ‘Squirrel’ for nothing.)
I see by your vacant looks that I had better back up and start at the beginning.
Okay. Here goes.
It was harvest. I was teaching full time, had two small kids to wrangle, and needed to get a warm, nutritious meal out to the field to feed the harvest crew after a full day of wrangling other people’s kids.
(Did I mention I was busy?)
Hence, the bread maker.
Boy, that machine was getting a workout. I had convinced myself that I needed to bake a fresh loaf of bread every day to serve with said warm, nutritious meal. (What was I thinking? But I digress.)
So before school, I’d add the ingredients, set the timer, get the kids ready for the bus, and head to work. One of the best rewards at the end of the day was coming home to the smell of fresh bread.
One day, I smelled something – off.
Puzzled, I checked the machine.
The green light was indeed flashing, indicating that the cycle was complete. When I lifted the lid, however, I was greeted with an odd twisted lump of something that was very un-bread-like.
I tried to dump it out. It was stuck fast. It also felt like it weighed about ten pounds.
What a sorry-looking doorstop.
I soon realized what the problem was. In the morning rush, I hadn’t added any yeast.
Even the animals wouldn’t touch it.
So I relate to this little story Jesus told to illustrate the Kingdom. That little bit of yeast made all the difference to the batch of dough – such a few grains of an ingredient, yet it creates such beautiful results – comfort food. Every culture has a variation on the bread theme. Bread is a symbol for sustenance, for life-giving food.
The kingdom, then, is like the yeast that makes the dough rise and do what it ought to do – feed the world, provide comfort and enjoyment and sustenance.
You and I can be a part of this global project to feed a world starving for truth and justice and kindness and compassion – imagine the potential to lift heavy hearts, sustain hope, provide a framework for spreading the sweet fragrance of God’s heart for His people in everything we say and do.
So let it rise!
Such is the active power of yeast.
But we need to mindfully add this ingredient to our day. Leaving God at home on a shelf will not help us to rise to the occasion. Thinking we can make a difference in our own steam will have the same results as my little heavy lumpy non-loaf.
We will just fall flat.
Remember to add the ingredients of God’s power each day with me?
Father, Your truth can work through us and raise us up to provide those around us with life-giving sustenance! Teach us to rely on Your power and strength to do a mighty work in and through us. Amen.