Thursday 31 October 2019

Bible Book:

Jesus said to them, ‘Watch out, and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees’. (v. 6)

Matthew 16:1-12 Thursday 31 October 2019

Psalm: Psalm 92


I’m always impressed by bakers who don’t need to follow a recipe, but who can just look at the ingredients and know which ratio to use. I have to measure out each ingredient carefully if I’m going to make something edible. One thing that always amazes me when baking bread is how little yeast is actually needed to make the dough rise. A tiny amount makes a big difference. When Jesus refers to the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees, he is warning that only a little of their teaching can have a big impact on the disciples.

Today marks an important date in the relationship of the UK and the EU. Since the referendum there has been increasing polarisation in society. This has, in part, been fuelled by hateful language aimed at stoking up fear and hatred. Social media provides a forum where a small amount of misinformation can spread quickly. Hate speech is shared and fake news is passed as fact.

Following the referendum, the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) released a prayer for the country that included the words:
‘Whatever differences this has revealed within our own society,
may they not eclipse what we have in common.
Where the narratives of political debate have caused harm and division
help us to reclaim the true values of our shared humanity.
Where exaggeration and distortion have generated suspicion and fear
may truth and honesty restore hope and goodness.’

Three years on this prayer remains important. As Christians we are called to be share God’s love in the world, and today there is a need for empathy. We should heed Christ’s warning to be aware of yeast such as exaggeration and distortion that can spread so quickly. Rather, we should emulate Christ’s ministry by seeking to show hope to our divided society.


To Ponder:

  • What is the yeast we need to be aware of today?
  • How can we restore goodness in society today?
  • Prayerfully reflect on the full prayer written by JPIT after the referendum.
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