Today’s Scripture: I Corinthians 5:6-8
6 Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.
My wife Robin and I have been re-watching episodes of the Great British Baking show for the past few weeks. We find that it’s the perfect remedy to all the tension in the world. Everyone is just so nice to each other!
One of the things I’ve learned while (whilst?) watching GBBS is the importance of yeast and especially of letting yeast do its work. I’m not really a baker so while I knew about yeast and what it does in bread, I was not fully aware of its importance. Once yeast is in the dough – it’s going to do its thing. The good bakers know just how long to let the yeast work. The not-so good bakers tend to rush the process. But regardless of how long the yeast is in there – it will always be working.
Paul compares sin to yeast. He’s talking to the Corinthians specifically about sin in the church, but I think the analogy works on several levels. Sin is like yeast and it affects every part of the dough. You can’t just segregate a portion of your dough to be “not yeasted”. If it’s in the dough, it’s in the whole dough.
Paul’s recommendation to the Corinthians is to remove the sinful person from their midst. Jesus suggested cutting off the any part of that causes us to sin! (Matthew 18:8-9). Sin is so impactful that it’s better to cut it out than to let it infect your whole life.
Our sinful selves may find this a little harsh. So what if we’re a little prideful? Does it matter so much if we hate that person? Who is it hurting if we cheat a little or lie a little? This are just small sins, right?
But that’s the point. When it comes to sin, the “small” eventually has just a big an impact as the “large”. Better to get rid of it.
Fortunately, I believe the opposite – positive side – is also true. I believe that small spiritual practices have big impacts in our lives. The daily time of meditation and prayer. The simple act of attending a worship service in person or online. Kind words spoken during the day. All of these can have large influence if we stick with them.
What yeast do you need to remove from your life today? What do you need to add?
Oh God, forgive us for the sin we keep in our lives. Help us to recognize it and remove it. Help us to see how it influences our lives and help us to work toward adding practices that draw us closer to you and to your kingdom.