Friday, October 12, 2012

I Smell the Bread Rising

Every Wednesday for the last few weeks, I've baked multiple loaves of Italian bread.  Flour, water, oil, and salt are the recipe's ingredients, but then I sprinkle in a little garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.  Sometimes my boys "help" me mix the ingredients and roll out the dough into circles after it's risen the first time.

As I sit here and smell the yeasty mixture rising, I think of a sermon I heard long ago, in a church I was only visiting for a day while spending time with my family in Connecticut.  The pastor spoke about one of Jesus' parables of the kingdom of heaven.
He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened." --Matthew 13:33
She talked about how the kingdom of Heaven is found in the ordinary events of daily life, such as a woman baking bread.  Many people today do not bake their own bread, and so this image is probably lost to much of the modern world.  

But I love it.  I love that God is present in the everyday events of life, that in baking bread I can think about ways in which the kingdom permeates our world and culture without us even taking notice of it.  Because isn't that the point of the parable?  Do we see each grain of yeast in the dough?  No.  But we can see its results.  We have to use one of our other senses, the sense of smell, to know it is there.  Likewise, sometimes, even though we may not be able to see the kingdom of God, we can sense it in other ways.

How do you see the results of the kingdom that you didn't know were there initially?  In what ordinary ways in your everyday life do you encounter God?


Joanne Kaminski said...

Being present. I find that when I am super busy, I can't connect with God. I find that when I am just present in my everyday activities that I can.

Brenda Spandrio said...

I, too, bake bread. Love the imagery you share, as well as your thought about "permeating" our world and culture. Thanks for the post!

Kelly J Youngblood said...

Yeah super busyness is hard. In a class I'm taking at church on Wednesday nights, we start out with about five minutes of silence. It is often the only time I really feel like I can just relax like that.

Kelly J Youngblood said...

It's funny, I love making bread, but I rarely ever make bread for toast or sandwiches. For me it's usually Italian bread or beer bread (SO easy!) or challah. Ironically, when I had a bread machine, I never used it. After I got rid of it when we moved the first time, I started baking bread. I never did replace it but I like doing all of it without the machine anyway.

Stephanie LH Calahan said...

I agree with Joanne about being present. It is something that I practice every day! While I don't bake bread (gluten free bread just isn't that good) I do make my own chicken stock. When fall rolls around every year, you will often see my stove heating up with the wonderfully warming smell of stock cooking. Just yesterday, my son came into the house with one of his friends and they were discussing that I make my own from scratch. I then heard my son say, "it just feels and smells like love in here" and it did. Every day we can look around and be amazed by the glorious miracles that surround us. Some of them are in our kitchen. :-)