Blessed… Let the Dough Rise

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in a bushel of wheat flour until the yeast had worked its way through all the dough” (Matthew 13:33, Common English Bible).

My friend Paul makes a lot of bread. No, he isn’t a baker, he just makes a lot of homemade bread that is very delicious. I enjoy eating it very much.

In these days of convenience we live in, Paul and others like him, don’t make bread in the ways our mothers and even more their mothers and grandmothers did during previous generations. This isn’t a complaint, it is a statement of the facts. Paul, as well as most others I know who make bread, throw all the ingredients in a bread machine, turn it on and let the machine do its thing. About three and a half hours later, out comes a hot loaf of homemade bread.

While I love that we have homemade bread far more regularly due to this modern technology, I miss the times from my childhood (though they didn’t happen often) when I would see bread made. It fascinated me that after the kneading was done, the dough was left in a covered bowl. It would rise to twice the original size. It was then punched down, kneaded again, divided and placed in loaf pans where it was allowed to rise again to twice its original size.

The growing dough was interesting. Yeast was placed in the dough and it was worked until it permeated all the dough, causing it to rise.

Through out most of Scripture, leavening is a metaphor for evil and how, once in, it can destroy. Here Jesus takes a different angle. He uses the leavening to illustrate the growth of the Kingdom. Much like my fascination with how the leavening changed the bread when I was a kid, this is a pretty interesting comparison as well.

I think Jesus, here, is talking about the growth of the community of faith. When faith is introduced to the community, and we keep working the community, the community grows just as when a baker works the yeast into bread dough, the dough grows. As the community grows, both in number and faithfulness, the result becomes more growth still.

I think we can also find a secondary meaning in this parable. None of us, not the first Christians and not the Christians of our time come to the faith knowing everything there is to know about being a Christian. It is a process. It is a process that takes time, really the rest of our lives, for us to know and come to some level of understanding. We grow as individual Christians. The leavening of the Gospel continues to grow within us, it continues to work on us, growing our lives and our faith.

When we grow in our faith, the faith community grows too. We become closer to God and closer to each other. In the end, that leavening does a good thing.

How does the leavening work in your life?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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