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.”
Over the past few months in quarantine, I have started making cinnamon rolls on the weekends. There’s something about this season when everything is cancelled and there is nowhere to go on Saturday mornings that calls for elaborate breakfasts. And because of the time it takes to make them, there is nothing that says “special occasion breakfast” more than cinnamon rolls.
I add the yeast to the water, and then all of the remaining ingredients. I take the small ball of dough that it makes, place it in an oiled bowl and set it aside for an hour and cross my fingers that it will rise. And every single time I come back to it, even though I know it’s what is supposed to happen, I am completely shocked that it has doubled or tripled in size. The yeast absolutely takes over!
Breads made without yeast, often called “quick breads,” are generally dense and have a consistency closer to cake than brioche or sourdough. But with yeast, the starch in the flour is turned to sugar and fermented, releasing carbon dioxide and transforming the formerly sticky paste into an airy dough.
Yes, the yeast makes the flour-water mixture grow. But more importantly, it changes the character of that mixture so that it becomes something else entirely. In the same way, Jesus transforms our character and the kingdom transforms the character of the world.
God almighty, we want you to change us from the inside out. We don’t want to just be changed a little bit, but instead we want to be fully transformed so that we might help transform our families, our communities, and the world. Amen.