Sheetrock Dust and Yeast

There is an avalanche of controlled chaos happening this week around the church.  In only two weeks we move back into the sanctuary to celebrate and rededicate our building to the glory of God.  Leo and his construction crew are putting the finishing touches on the building and rebuilding the ramp.  Paving crews are pouring cement.  The sound system is being reinstalled.  Cleaning crews are desperately trying to rid the church of all the buildup of sheetrock dust that has permeated EVERYTHING!

This morning in anticipation of the installation of the sound system.  Jesse and I were cleaning out the sounds room.  I was dressed appropriately and prepared to get dirty.  But as I sit here and type I am keenly aware of sheetrock dust in practically every crease and wrinkle of my body.

If you have ever been through a renovation you know sheetrock dust is worse than a whole herd of dust bunnies.  Nothing is safe from it.  It gets into every nook and cranny.  Unfortunately, most of my clergy robes were not protected by the onslaught of construction so I was going through them trying to decide which ones needed to go to the cleaners, when I came across one in a garment bag.  I thought at least one won’t have to be cleaned.  Wrong!  Even inside the zipped up garment bag there was an accumulation of enough sheetrock you could have plastered the whole wall.

As I did my best to shake off some of the remnant of this evil granulated grit I thought about what the Bible has to says about yeast and I began to reflect on the scriptures that I could remember about yeast.  (I mean, doesn’t everyone just naturally think about yeast and scriptures when they are cleaning J.)

Yeast in the Bible is used symbolically to represent influence, mostly negative. Galatians 5:9, “Just as a little bit of yeast, works through and permeates dough.”  When yeast is introduced into flour, sugar and water it multiplies rapidly swelling the dough, like sin puffs up and over inflates our souls with pain and suffering.  Symbolically, when the Bible speaks of the removal of yeast from bread it is speaking about the removal of sin that so easily permeates and grows in our lives. 

Thirty-two times in the books of Moses, he speaks of not using anything with yeast in worship, using unleavened bread, to symbolize the purifying of our lives.  This theme is repeated in Judges, Samuel and Ezekiel. In the New Testament Paul says yeast is like false teachings that runs rampant in society even back then without the help of the world wide web.  In Matthew, Mark and Luke Jesus warns us to be wary of the yeast of hypocrisy as found in the Pharisees, Sadducees and King Herod. 

But, then, in Matthew 13:3, Jesus says  “God’s kingdom is like yeast that a woman works into the dough for dozens of loaves of barley bread—and waits while the dough rises” (MSG). Isn’t that just like Jesus, all of sudden he does a u-turn of reversal and flips something into and the last shall be first and the first shall be last. 

Yeast isn’t all bad.  All sheetrock dust isn’t evil.  It is what we do with it.  Without yeast Wonder Bread would not be wonderful.  Without sheetrock dust we wouldn’t see the renewed beauty of the sanctuary.  But, now it is time for us to work the yeast and let the sheetrock dust bring about results.  It is time for us to multiply and grow the “Bread of Life” like it is sheetrock dust penetrating deep into the hearts of people’s zipped up garment bags of life.  (Okay that sounded better in my head.)

Bottom line: the building is almost ready.  Now it is time for us to grow the Kingdom of God here at Collins.  Share the love of Christ, invite people to worship, invite them to the Rib Cook Off, invite them to share a meal with us. There is no better time than right now.