A Little Yeast

A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. – Galatians 5:9 (NRSV)

One of my commitments for 2020 was to start baking bread again, and the first attempts were about as disappointing as anything we try for the first time in a long time. I was particularly disappointed in the rise of an early loaf. A baking website I follow recommended a brand of yeast I couldn’t find in my local grocery store, so I ordered a 16-ounce bag online in late February. Little did I know there would be a pandemic-induced shortage!

The new yeast – no doubt much fresher than the packets on a high shelf at the store down the street – made a huge difference. The whole loaf of bread was affected by the tiny amount of yeast mixed in with the flour and other ingredients, in this case for the better.

I am like my loaves of bread. The things I incorporate, the spiritual influences and personal contacts and media sources, have the power to leaven me, to transform me.

Some days they change me for the better, like the beautiful loaf of whole wheat bread I made for my family this week. Sometimes they change me for the worse, and I feel spread out on the pan of life like a dough that did not come together. Today, may I choose the yeast that makes me better.

Creating God, you have given us all the ingredients for a holy life. Help us to choose well. Amen.

Martha Spong About the Author
Martha Spong is a UCC pastor, a clergy coach, and editor of The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms for the Struggle, new from The Pilgrim Press.