Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The "Yeast" of These . . .

1 Corinthians 5:6
Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?

Many years ago, while browsing in a book store, I came across a thin paperback entitled "The Cornell Bread Book". Coincidentally, I had been contemplating baking homemade bread as my children, then in elementary school, were "bread-a-holics" and I wanted them to have a more nutritious alternative. That day, I hit the jackpot!

Cornell bread was developed at that university by Dr. Clive McCay, a nutritional researcher, whose initial goal was to create a healthier bread for consumption by the elderly in nursing homes. When laboratory rats were fed the Cornell bread, they far surpassed their Wonder Bread eating counterparts in size, weight, and energy. The secret ingredients not found in the usual bread? Non-fat dry milk, soy flour, and wheat germ.

Aside from its obvious health benefits, I loved the Cornell recipe because it allowed me to make three loaves at a time, a huge benefit for any working mom. What amazed me the most, though, was how little yeast was required to grow and expand the dough - only two tablespoons or two packages did the trick! Through kneading, shaping, punching down, rising again, separating, rising again, making the loaves, rising again, the yeast never ceased to enlarge the dough as it grew and grew and grew until the bread was oven-ready.

In today's scripture, Paul is cautioning the Corinthians against the yeast of evil and malice. He knows that it only takes a miniscule amount injected into a community to burgeon into a monstrosity, destroying the foundation that he and others so meticulously and lovingly placed among them. Isn't that true for us today? One unkind thought, one careless word, are like two tablespoons of yeast in three loaves of bread; they have the potential to grow within us, overtaking all the good intentions we have toward others and all the work we long to do in Christ's name.

Will you pray with me? Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son, the bread of life, into this world to save and redeem us. Let the yeast working in our lives be filled with love, forgiveness, and grace, helping us to grow in all righteousness and allowing us to spread the good news to those who hunger and thirst for you. Knead us, shape us, into the mold of good works you have prepared for us to walk in. In Jesus' name, amen.

Psalms 78:1-39 or 78:40-72
2 Kings 5:19-27
1 Corinthians 5:1-8
Matthew 5:27-37


  1. I like the comparison, Martha. Yes, it's so true...one unkind word can cut so deep...

  2. I really like the way you explain things. It helps put it in perspective because so often we excuse ourselves on the basis that we aren't really doing very much harm. Excellent post Martha!

  3. good metaphor -- this will give me something to chew on today. thank you, martha! blessings!!

  4. Thank you, my friends, for stopping by today! So glad you liked the subject of today's post. Ironically, I made bread yesterday, hoping to use it for the photo on this entry, but I did something drastically wrong (haven't figured it out yet) and botched the whole batch. Oh, well . . . :)
    Blessings, all!

  5. Martha: I love the way this post, especially in light of your last comment, is synchronistically related to the ongoing discussion currently taking place at my site, too ;-)

    Brenda commented: This is the reason I do not like baking because you have to follow the rules...


    Socially and spiritually we need to find a balance between following the rules and personal creative expression.

    Thank you for all that you are!

  6. Thank you, Linda! Yep, baking sure does involve following the rules or you'll just end up with one irritating and inedible mess on your hands.
    I do your comment about finding the balance in society and in our spiritual development with regards to rules and creativity. Wonderful!

    Blessings, and thanks for stopping by!

  7. Great post Martha! I love the connections you make...your posts are both profound but simple for all of us to understand. May God never stop conforming our minds, wills and hearts to His glory.

  8. Great post! I wish more people tried to be GOOD yeast every day. A little yeast definitely goes a long way. :)


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