Thursday, May 27, 2010
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” Matthew 13:31-33
I learned to make bread from my mother. I can see even now her arms at work and I can hear her tell me, "it's like a small child, it takes time and some consistency." I was a young teenager then, in a big hurry, especially around her. When I was nearing the end of high school, I started making organic and whole wheat bread for my "hippie" friends. My mother's large dazzling white loaves were so old fashioned and not hip. The organic loaves I made were small, dense and dry. I was still in too big a hurry and not willing to nurture.
Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like a woman who took leaven and put it in three measure of flour until all was leavened. What Jesus didn't say is that it takes time. Yeast is a wonderful substance but can be pretty fragile. If you rush it, you can stifle the yeast which needs air and food and a good measure of coercion through kneading. It takes a kind and patient heart to bring out all the best in the flour.
Today as we begin Oklahoma IV here in Tennessee, I ask only for a kind a patient heart. We are working together to build Indigenous leadership for the present and future church, and it will take leaven and a good measure of gentle coercion and lots of patience and love. May we all take this day tenderly knowing God will use us for the growing of the kingdom.