Friday, February 5, 2010

What's in Your Bread?

     This morning I meditated on The Parable of the Yeast. “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.” Luke 13:20-21
    This parable made me think of the children’s book I read to two kids at school yesterday about a snake named Sheldon who loved blueberry pancakes. In the story, he invites his friends to share the batch of pancakes his mom made for him before she left to go shopping. He and his friends eat every last pancake and want some more, so they pull out the cookbook, add the ingredients called for, but then Sheldon’s friends add a bunch of ingredients that they like to the batter.      The end result is a gooey batter that rises ominously out of the bowl and makes a terrible mess of the kitchen and gets all over them. They clean up everything and start over. This time they follow the recipe exactly and the pancakes come out perfectly. This story seems to be an excellent example of what we do when we add ingredients that don’t belong in the Bread of Life.
     God is the head baker. He gives us the basic recipe, but He allows us the freedom to add to or subtract from it. He knows which ingredients are necessary, but He lets us experiment to see what turns out, if that’s what we’d rather do than follow His time-tested recipe to the letter.
     He knows a cinnamon swirl of compassion and a scoop of raisins ripe with kindness will enhance a plain loaf, whereas a cup of pride, a dash of anger, two teaspoons of envy are going to make for an inedible mess instead of a delectable golden loaf.
     The pantry of the world is stocked with wholesome ingredients and potent poisons. Several items are clearly marked. For others, we’ll need to read the label. It’s up to us to select what we want, measure it out, and mix it in.
     If we make a mess of the kitchen and our bread is utterly inedible, God patiently helps us scrub the counters, clean the floor, and start all over again.
     God is the true Bread of Life. He is the only one who can make us complete. We hunger for His love, peace, Truth, light, joy, compassion, gentleness, kindness, mercy, righteousness, and forgiveness.
     Lord, help me focus on You, the Bread of Life, and invite You into the kitchen of my heart to guide me as I make my own loaf of bread to be broken and shared.
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