July 30, 2023: “The Kingdom of Heaven is Like Yeast”

bread and grain

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast.”

A large crowd would gather; the idea of offering them warm sugar cake was too tempting to refuse.

So, John Foltz went to work in the church kitchen. This task would need a triple recipe.

After mixing dry ingredients, John added warm water, yeast, and eggs. He knew it would take about an hour for the dough to rise. But at the hour mark, the dough had not changed. Maybe it needed more time. John waited and checked again. The dough was flat.

There wasn’t time for him to step back and reflect on the situation, only to figure out how to feed the expected Salem Congregation Watch-Night Service crowd. After a quick kitchen search, he found ingredients to replicate two of the three recipe quantities.

He made two batches, one at a time, to limit his loss potential. The subsequent batches rose nicely, first in a bowl, then in pans. The yeast-generated bubbles provided space for air in the dough. Some commercially made sugar cake was brought in to extend the supply.

The crisis was averted: all enjoyed the fluffy cake that Trinity Moravian Church served.

It does not take a lot of yeast, but it does take some—yeast that bubbles, that breathes air into the dough, to make this sweet treat. So it is with the kingdom of heaven. It doesn’t take a lot of yeast—but it does take some. Our lives need spaces in us for Jesus to breathe life into our lives, as the yeast offers space for air to collect in dough, filling even the dark corners—perhaps especially filling those spaces that are the hardest for us to let go of—with his loving presence.

Thanks be to God for that leaven.

Margaret Norris, pastor, Hope Moravian Church,
Winston-Salem, North Carolina