My father-in-law has been a widower for eight years. Among the many impressive skills he has acquired in that time is baking. He didn’t have much time to hone this skill in the thirty years that he was serving the country as an active duty Navy officer, but now he has taught himself how to make lovely bread.
The quarantine challenged this recently when his stores of yeast diminished. He found some tucked away in the garage, but like most things tucked away in garages, it perhaps had been there from the time they moved into that house…in the 80‘s. Old yeast is flat yeast, and does not do what yeast was created to do: produce light, raised, airy bread.
1 Corinthians 5 (The Message)
6-8 Your flip and callous arrogance in these things bothers me. You pass it off as a small thing, but it’s anything but that. Yeast, too, is a “small thing,” but it works its way through a whole batch of bread dough pretty fast. So get rid of this “yeast.”
Our true identity is flat and plain, not puffed up with the wrong kind of ingredient. The Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has already been sacrificed for the Passover meal, and we are the Unraised Bread part of the Feast.
So let’s live out our part in the Feast, not as raised bread swollen with the yeast of evil, but as flat bread—simple, genuine, unpretentious.
Paul is being pretty harsh with the church at Corinth. He spends a great deal of this letter chastising them for practices they have adopted which are not in keeping with his teaching. Particularly in this instance, he is reprimanding them for their “puffed up boasting” in the resurrection. Humility is the way, he counsels. Christ looks for followers who are simple, genuine, and unpretentious.
Can you think of a time in your life where your arrogant boasting got you into trouble? Did you suffer the consequences of your own puffed up ego? Are you suffering from someone’s narcissism, and feeling the pain of being around a person who thinks way more highly of themselves than they ought? And by default, seems to think nothing of you?
The Enemy just loves flattery. So do we. When we allow ourselves to be puffed up, we lose sight of everything that has value: simplicity, selflessness, genuine caring for others, and the humble attitude that our Savior took on.
So be like Jesus. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and HE will lift you up. Quit believing your own press, and look outside of yourself.
Humility and servanthood are the best kinds of yeast we can spread throughout our community. When people see THAT kind of bread, they can’t wait to get to the table.