This year has been the year of discovering new things. At the start of the pandemic and the lockdown, I turned to the one place where I am happiest…my kitchen. I was determined to learn how to successfully bake bread.
Full confession, baking with yeast has always proved to be challenging for me. Part of the reason for this is because blooming yeast is an exact science. You have to get the water to the right temperature, have an accurate measurement of sugar, and ensure the kitchen and bowl are warm. This is not been in my wheelhouse of culinary talents. I love to take a couple of ingredients, add a dash of this, add a splash of that, and create something delicious. Baking, especially baking bread requires attention to details. But, I was determined. Then, because 2020, there was a shortage of yeast in food stores and online. Instead of giving up, I asked my trusty partner, Google, “How did Sarah make bread so quickly for the visitors who came to Abraham to tell him God is going to provide a son for them?” Well, I learned about what we call a starter yeast which has also been called mother’s yeast, wild yeast, and sourdough starter.
The Hebrew word “se’or” means leaven. It is believed the original se’or was made from leftover wheat combined with sugar from fruit in a mortar and was fermented with wild yeast found naturally in the air. Over time, the starter was made by setting aside a tiny amount of leavened dough to soak up the yeast in the air and it would become active. Throughout the Old Testament we read about God reminding the Israelites they must demonstrate their obedience by only baking dough without leaven. One of the reasons was because they were fleeing Egypt and didn’t have time to gather all the provisions they wanted, including se’or (e.g., Exodus 13:7; Exodus 29:2; Leviticus 2:11; Numbers 28:17; 1 Samuel 28:24). This obedience to unleavened bread continued for hundreds of years. Then, in the Book of Luke, Jesus shows us making leavened bread with yeast isn’t always about spreading the false teaching of Pharisees.
Again he asked, “What shall I compare to the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” ~ Luke 13:20-21
Jesus, in a way that only Jesus could do, reminds his apostles and followers if we allow our faith and belief in God be our yeast, it can spread, create anew, and feed our souls. I was determined to overcome my trepidation of baking with yeast, but I turned to tradition and made my own se’or.
Turns out, it isn’t very difficult, but in order to keep the se’or or starter active, you must feed it regularly. This got me thinking, how I was feeding my mind and soul during this time of uncertainty? Sure, I was nourishing my body with food, water, and exercise but, what was I doing for my spiritual nourishment? Just like my se’or I needed to make sure I was feeding myself daily.
As I have written about (The Year of Waiting ~ 2020), this year has been one of waiting and uncertainty for a lot of us. One of the most beautiful gifts God has given me during 2020 is the gift of time. However, I realized I wasn’t using this time to feed my spirit. Then, one day in April, I committed to rising before the sun to welcome the dawning of each day in a quiet place with my Bible (and coffee) in prayer. On Tuesday evenings I joined a group of ladies studying scripture. Sunday evenings are devoted to leading a study of the Book of Ruth in a purposeful way in order to strengthen our minds and transform our hearts. In addition, I am answering God’s call to create by podcasting, writing, speaking, leading, and filling my social media content with grace and worship. I am truly feeding my spirit so I can feed others with the bread of life.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” ~ John 6:35
Drop a comment below or send me a message to tell me the ways you are feeding your spirit in 2020.