Christian Articles Archive

Light and Delicious Christians

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

My wife will never let me forget one of my early experiences with breadmaking, trying to make pocket or pita bread. I had shaped the small round loaves and placed them on a cookie sheet to rise. They utterly refused. Hours later they had spread out to low yellow mounds. In desperation, I finally baked them, hoping for the best. It was not to be. They were hard. I mean really hard. So hard, in fact, that my wife quoted Jesus' own words to me: "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?"*

Now don't get the wrong idea. Over the years I have turned out some wonderful breads. I've learned two keys: first, make sure you have enough yeast kneaded in. Second, let it rise in a warm place. I've tried the top of the water heater and our sunny kitchen counter. But the best spot I've found is inside our gas oven, heated to a constant 75 to 80 degrees by the pilot light. If the environment isn't warm enough, all the yeast in the world won't help.

People rise much the same way. I've seen people who have had wonderful experiences with the Lord remain stunted in their growth much like my stubborn pocket bread. Plenty of yeast, but they fail to stay in a warm place where they can grow and let God's leavening change them through and through. They end up yeasty but hard, not light and delicious.

The church at its best is like a warm place with the thermostat set on love. There is the stimulus of other people who are experiencing growth. And there is the kind of teaching and caring, acceptance and challenge that helps us become all God made us to be.

Sure, lots of people say you can be a Christian without going to church. And I've eaten some pretty chewy sourdough in my time, too.

What I love most is the sweet aroma of bread which fills our kitchen. I'll lift the bread bowl from its rising place and see the wonder worked by yeast and sugar and warmth. Then I'll shape the loaf, put it in the oven, and out will come the most mouth-watering, light-textured bread you can ever imagine. You have no choice but to put aside whatever you are doing, slice a piece, and eat it still warm from the oven.

Our churches can be the kind of delightful kitchens where fragrance fills the room, warm places to grow. Maybe we ought to put out a new sign: "Tender Loaves Made Here."


*Matthew 7:9 (NIV). [Editor: Feel free to use any translation you desire here. It will not change the meaning of the article.]

Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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