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July 20

Matthew 13, 33

Something to read

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.’
New Revised Standard Version

Something to think about

Often it is assumed this story is a simple affirmation of the mustard seed parable. However, leaven is generally used in the Bible to symbolise sin or something evil.

When Jesus told the crowds that the kingdom of heaven is full of leaven they would have been most shocked, as it is far from the view of heaven. Leaven is not quite yeast but rather the sourdough that is left to ferment and used for the next loaf. It does, however, do the same job as yeast and swells the bread.

Far from looking at how a small bit of good can spread like yeast, maybe Jesus was warning us that corruption, no matter how small, can ferment and grow.

Even the most benevolent of organisations can find themselves in trouble once a little dishonesty, or cutting corners, sets in. At a personal level, how often do we do something that is not good but 'insignificant', so won’t matter. Do we kid ourselves about our actions?

Something to do

Take some time out and think about the things that we all do. Do we 'accidentally' spread gossip? Turn a blind eye to certain actions, or let racist or sexist comments go by? What could be the wider consequences of this? Resolve to stop one of these things today.

Something to pray

Almighty God,
Unto all hearts be open, and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit that we may worthily magnify thy holy Name;
Through Christ our Lord,

Today's contributor is Charlotte Haines Lyon, a full time mum and freelance writer who writes for Christian Aid's Surefish.co.uk website


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