Proof? – Reflection for 30 JUL 2017
I was watching ‘Britain’s Great Baking Show’ and sat absolutely amazed at the trials the bakers had to complete successfully in order to continue on the show. All the faults and emotional temperaments showed up during the baking challenges. One person had a mistake with his baked Alaska and dumped the whole thing in the trash. Obviously, he did not do well in the remaining judging and was eliminated from the contest. They started with 8 bakers of various ages and I am at the point in the show where there are only four bakers left. Many times the bake looked good on the outside, but it was over proofed, underproofed, raw, squishy, messy, no eye appeal, no taste and the list goes on. Some of the bakers nail the task and the judges are happy, but someone is going to leave the show.
What does that have to do with “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” in Mathew’s Gospel? As I look at the examples it strikes me that for each of the good there is the potential of the bad. For example, yeast in baking is an active, alive substance. It will grow and produce carbon dioxide and cause the flour to rise. If the temperature is too hot it can blow out and leave you with a crater in the dough, if the temperature is too cool it may not rise, if you add too much flour you won’t get a light dough. It takes the correct amount of temperature and the correct amount of flour and time to get the desired end product. This resembles the sower parable in that it takes the correct conditions to grow to maturity.
The need for continued study of God’s Word so that it can infuse your life to give you stability and character. Yeast needs other yeast to be able to grow the dough and so it is with us. We only grow in Christ when we are in communion / community with other believers. Our understanding of what it means to be heirs of the Kingdom keeps us vigilant of our surroundings. We watch for those things that create the heat of anger, temptation, or anything else that can parade as good but is really sin in disguise. If we ignore community we risk getting cold and careless and the enemy can strike during this period of weakness.
Yeast or no yeast. Proofed or over/under proofed. Fully baked or half baked (that does not apply to the rector’s sermons) Jesus says to make a choice, fence sitting is not an option.