He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Matthew 13:33
The smartphone, electronic device or laptop many of you are utilizing to read this post came from humble beginnings. Believe it or not, there was a day when technology wasn't at our fingertips or small enough to fit inside our pockets. What is now the world's most valuable brand started inside a plain old garage in the suburbs of Los Altos, California.
The genius of Apple came out of a garage. It served as an epicenter for creativity, innovation, and discovery. All it took was for a few young nerds (and college dropouts) to come together, dream and "think differently."
Apple was far from an overnight sensation. It was a long journey towards changing the way people viewed computers. But, their subversive mindset spread and now shapes the way we interact with the world around us and consume information.
Today's passage speaks to another underground movement the rose and spread amongst the fringe. Of all the pictures Jesus could paint to describe the way the Kingdom of God should work in the world He decided to use yeast; something almost undetectable, but undeniably powerful.
A single-cell microorganism converts sugar and starch into carbon dioxide, which makes baked goods rise (I'm not a baker...I had to Google this fact). The yeast goes to work changing everything it touches. Slowly but surely the environment shifts. No huge chain reaction; just a steady transformation over time.
If the church should act like yeast, it means much of our work happens behind the scenes. We bend culture to the way of Christ not by making much of ourselves, but rather by making much of God. This takes place through faithful service, steady hearts, consistent grace, and humble gratitude. Similar to yeast, interacting with us should cause the hearts of others to expand and become open to what makes us different.
Watching bread rise isn't captivating but an exercise in steady patience. There's not a set time for how long it takes for bread to rise. Instead, one judges if the yeast has done its job effectively by the look and feel. The same principle holds true for our individual walks as well as the growth of the Church. We might gain a new identity the instant we accept Christ's sacrifice, but our transformation into reflecting His heart through our words and actions happens little-by-little. It's gradual growth.
And our subversive work as the body of Christ in this world never ends. Pouring our energy into the places where we are planted requires time, investment and a great deal of perseverance. So, how do we not lose heart and know if our job as yeast is making a difference? The things around us will eventually look and feel different.
Little-by-little our homes, our neighborhoods, our schools, our businesses, and our relationships will have felt the touch of His love, forgiveness, and grace. Yet, in order for this to take place, we have to RISE to the occasion and leverage every day we're given for His glory. Do so today.
· In what ways are you being yeast in the places where you are planted?
· Where do you need to be reminded that His work and transformation take time?
God, work through me. Use me in any way You see fit. I want to quietly and humbly reflect You in everything I do. Help me to make a difference in the things I touch. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.