yeast patience

It’s two months until I learn where I will be serving in ministry next, and two more after that until I will be taking my appointment and joining my new community, but tonight I will be starting a new loaf of bread again. 

And as I work the yeast and water into the flour and salt, I’m thinking about how we will continue to trust in the invisible gentle work of God. 

I was working through a liturgy from Kendall Vanderslice, a theologian baker, who wrote, in the midst of her recipe for bread, “Now stop. The work is not done, but it is not all yours to do.”

And what a word of grace that is for me, still. 

When I wash the traces of gritty, sticky flour from my hands after drawing the ingredients together, I must walk away and let the dough sit, overnight, resting, as the yeast gets to work and doubles and triples the batch in size. 

I’m practicing, see, practicing for my new church. They’re already working together, waiting for me, even though neither they nor I know who we are yet. There’s a deeper truth here, too, we’re still all becoming more of what God is calling us to be. 

It won’t be perfect, when we come together. We’ll still be in some portions of covid protocols, and I don’t know when the first time I will celebrate communion with them will be, and it’s coming on a year now since I last joined in a communion table, with a body of worship, with a people gathered to share and be the Body of Christ.

But I’m practicing this bread as a gift, to share, if they will accept it, as long as their tradition may allow it, since I have been at churches where a family already made the loaves that were used to celebrate. But I’m working on this loaf, still, for our family, and for the congregation where I will worship next in person. 

As I fold the water into the flour tonight, I pray for the people who may not yet know that their pastor will be moving. As I let the yeast proof in water the temperature of blood tonight I pray for the people who have lost family and friends in the past year. As I sift the salt into the flour tonight, I pray that the energy I bring will draw flavor to the entire gathered body. 

And I pray, and I wait, and I rest. 

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