In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
5 When the disciples arrived on the other side of the lake, they had forgotten to bring bread. 6 Jesus said to them, “Watch out and be on your guard for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “We didn’t bring any bread.”
8 Jesus knew what they were discussing and said, “You people of weak faith! Why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you don’t have any bread? 9 Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves that fed the five thousand and how many baskets of leftovers you gathered? 10 And the seven loaves that fed the four thousand and how many large baskets of leftovers you gathered? 11 Don’t you know that I wasn’t talking about bread? But be on your guard for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he wasn’t telling them to be on their guard for yeast used in making bread. No, he was telling them to watch out for the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
1 Corinthians 5
6 Your bragging isn’t good! Don’t you know that a tiny grain of yeast makes a whole batch of dough rise? 7 Clean out the old yeast so you can be a new batch of dough, given that you’re supposed to be unleavened bread. Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed, 8 so let’s celebrate the feast with the unleavened bread of honesty and truth, not with old yeast or with the yeast of evil and wickedness.
At times, well-meaning people try to treat Biblical symbols as a kind of “magic decoder ring” system: “This always means that.” That doesn’t work with Jesus’ parable about yeast. “The physical phenomenon of infiltration, as the yeast fungus multiplies throughout its medium, provides the basis for a symbolic use of leaven or yeast. The effect can be either positive or negative.” * Hurtful teachings or qualities sometimes spread as readily as the good effects of Jesus’ kingdom.
Heavenly Father, you love me just as I am, but you love me too much to leave me just as I am. Let the yeast of your kingdom guard my heart from the harmful yeasts of wrong ideas. Amen.
My professor at my seminary has a coffee mug that reads, “Don’t confuse your Google search with my theology degree.” It makes me chuckle every time I see it. I value the care my professors and classes at Saint Paul School of Theology give me to think deeply about why I believe what I believe. As a teacher and preacher, I feel the weight of accurately interpreting the Bible and the life-giving theology of God’s love with the world around me and, most importantly, the next generation of middle and high school students I am entrusted to lead at Resurrection. I do not take this role lightly.
What I say will affect a student’s faith journey in either a positive or negative way. Knowing this, I try to check everything I say through the lens of Jesus’ unconditional love. If the theology or message I’m giving is placing judgment on others and not introspection on myself, then it’s not through the lens of Jesus. If an idea or speech promotes prejudice and privilege of one set of people over another, it’s not from Jesus. Hate speech wrapped in church lingo is still hate speech. I can’t help but think Jesus felt this way when he gave the example of the yeast in the bread. Knowing where our “bread,” or theology, is coming from is essential. Jesus warned against the yeast of the religious zealots at the time because it wasn’t a life-giving, love-producing message. It was speech fueled by hate, greed, and fear, which are ingredients not suitable for our consumption.
When I think about my professor’s plea on his mug, I think about how easy it is to google any answer you want to give that suits your needs. Yet when it comes to faith and hope in God’s love for the world, so much of that message can get distorted with false messages (via technology, social media, society, or political propaganda) about who God is and how God works in the world. Knowing how to view and process all we are inundated with is essential.
I’m not a bread maker, but I have tried before, and I can attest that even missing one ingredient or using a bad batch of yeast will leave you with a pretty pathetic loaf of bread. Many times, you must throw out the bread altogether. The same can be said for our theology, how we view God’s nature and character. Sometimes, we might need to “throw out” or let go of harmful theology that places power and agendas over justice and peace. This is why it is important to know why we believe what we believe when understanding how we share our view of God with the world. It’s important because our youth will teach the message we share with them to their children. Let’s give them some good, life-giving “bread” to share, the kind Jesus chose to multiply.
* Article “Leaven” in Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit and Tremper Longman III, general editors, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998, p. 428.
** Eugene Eung-Chun Park and Joel B. Green, study note on Matthew13:33 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 36 NT.