Lockdown in the UK – all three of them!

Lockdown in the UK – all three of them! – has, for most of us, brought about some new things to be thankful for. Many of us made use of extra time at home to try our hand at baking! People’s social media feeds were awash with pictures of new culinary triumphs and they vied with each other to produce ever more impressive bakes. So popular was this lockdown activity that shops ran right out of flour, baking powder and yeast! Yeast – or raising agent – was particularly tricky to find. And without it, of course, most bakes are impossible and would certainly not be making it onto the pages of social media feeds. Yet it is usually the smallest, lightest ingredient in a cake or loaf of bread. In the Bible, yeast – or leaven, as it is called – is frequently mentioned but interestingly, typically carries a negative connotation, despite its advantages. It is used as a metaphor for a bad influence. Thus, the Israelites, in the lead up to Passover, had to remove any trace of leaven from their homes. It was a symbolic way of purging themselves from the evil influence of the world in order to be ready to take part in the Passover feast. Principles laid down in the Old Testament are always picked up in the New. It is no different with leaven. In a letter written to first century believers, we read, “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump.” (1 Corinthians 5:6-7, NKJV). The leaven to be purged out of their lives was “malice and wickedness” and instead their lives needed to be full of “sincerity and truth.” (v8) We might not think our lives are full of “malice and wickedness”, but we have to remember that yeast is a very tiny ingredient – an influence. We need to ask ourselves what influences we are allowing into our lives through what we watch, look at and read, or the company that we like to keep. God wants “sincerity and truth”: a genuine desire to have a closer relationship with Him, and to do so not based on our own, entirely subjective, notion of “truth”, but His. The only way we can do this is by reading His Word and allowing that to be the pervading influence of our lives. pershore.bible pershore-christadelphians.org

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