What would our world look like if it were everything God intends? Peace, understanding, comfort, satisfaction, true abundance for everyone—everywhere?

Maybe something like that.

We might never see it in our lifetimes. But in the meantime, there is this place and this moment. The kingdom is keen to break in.

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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.”

Matthew 13:33

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Bread rises because you put something in the dough that makes tiny gas bubbles to stretch the dough a little before they pop. These days, we use yeast or baking powder. Our ancestors used leaven—a lump of dough saved from yesterday’s batch of bread. Before you shape the dough into loaves and put it in the oven, you pinch off a bit to leave until tomorrow, letting the natural yeasts and bacteria in it get a good head start.

Jesus says God’s kingdom is like a small lump of yesterday’s dough. Doesn’t sound much like a kingdom, does it? But like the mustard seed from yesterday, the leaven-lump is more powerful than you think. In Jesus’ parable, one lump can make about 50 pounds of flour rise. That’s a lot of biscuits!

The tiny seed or the smallish lump becomes home for all us birds or bread enough to feed us all. That’s God’s kingdom in action.

Richard Vinson

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Dear God, may my hand plant the seed or mix the dough that becomes your kingdom. Amen.

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Maybe it’s not just a romantic notion. The kingdom comes in things that are very small, but that can become something great; something worth giving everything you have to be part of it.

The kingdom is something fine, worth more than we can imagine. And it is worth all the more when we share what we know about it, though we will never understand it completely.

Go now to give it all away.

Richard Vinson

Richard Vinson teaches religion at Salem College and first grade Sunday School at Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He and his wife, Diane Lipsett, between them have five sons, one daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, a dog, and three cats.

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