When I was younger my mother would make bread almost every other day. The kitchen would be filled with the smell of baking bread and soon the entire house would smell like fresh bread. I remember it would make me so hungry. Almost thirty years later, I worked for a company that would help develop ideas presented by entrepreneurs. One of those ideas was a bread machine. And as with any device put on the market you would have to test it. And of course, the only way to test it was to make bread. Now that might seem a bonus to have fresh bread, but the government had regulations for testing electrical devices. One of those regulations was a life test of the device, or how long would it last. To determine how well the machine would work the test was to have five of these bread machines, that would make two loaves of bread, run continuously. That meant we had ten loaves of bread every two hours or 120 loaves of bread every day. We did not want to throw out food, so the employees got to take home as much bread as they wanted. But this is 43,800 loaves of bread for the entire year. Even with 300 employees it meant each employee would get almost 150 loaves of bread a year. I have often wondered if any of them still eat bread.
When Jesus uses the example of leaven, it is still something of a mystery. You open the little yeast package and work it into the dough. The yeast disappears but the effect it has on the dough as it ferments is very noticeable as the dough rises. The symbolism is apparent. Our faith is like the mysterious yeast. As we work our faith into our daily lives it gives rise to faith in those we live and work with every day. And even if we get knocked down like the dough sometimes, the fermentation continues, and we rise again to share our faith.
Have a sandwich today and reflect on the bread making process. Is it any wonder Jesus chose bread for the Eucharist?