September 29: a warning

“Be on guard against the yeast…” Luke 12:1

I usually think of yeast as a good thing. After all, it is an essential ingredient to one of my favorite foods. Yeast has great power. We have a jar of yeast in our refrigerator and it does not look like much at all. But remove the yeast from a cool, dry place and put it in an environment that is warm and moist and yeast suddenly has great power.

There are tiny things in our lives that have the potential to bring about great change. Get a small pebble in your shoe and how long does it take until you stop to remove it? Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees. Look at the Pharisees and you were meant to see persons who devoted their lives to understanding and living a righteous life according to scripture. But even the Pharisees did not notice the yeast. Something evil had found the right environment and was growing. Yeast needs a certain environment to grow – a receptive host. That’s all that evil needs. It may look benign like the jar of yeast we keep in our refrigerator, until we become the host.

The problem is not really the yeast. It is the host. Evil has no power until it finds the kind of host where it can grow and flourish. And Jesus’ warning points toward Pharisees – the people supposedly the least likely to be an environment where evil could grow. “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed.” It is only a matter of time and the proper conditions and even the best of us could end up becoming the worst among us.

Be on your guard against the yeast…  Pay attention to the kind of host you are – the kind of environment, the kind of character, the nature of your heart. Of all the people, no one would have imagined the Pharisees, the least likely, would be the ones to host the yeast.

Let me conclude with a point of hope. Zechariah 4:6 – “Not by might nor by power buy by my Spirit.” Once again, I begin my day by opening my life to God’s Spirit. Come and dwell in me.

Today’s readings: Zechariah 4-6; Luke 12

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