Jesus taught, “Imagine a woman preparing a loaf of bread. The kingdom of heaven is like the leaven she folds into her dough. She kneads and kneads until the leaven is worked into all the dough” (Matthew 13:33, The Voice).
The Voice commentators suggest, “Without the leaven, the dough remains flat. But the secret is the almost invisible leaven making her loaves fluff and rise” (212).
God’s Kingdom was and is and continues to be a quick and quiet movement. The Spirit of God kneaded and kneaded and kneaded. Working and working and working – often with little to no results. Almost invisible. But very present. Before you know it, Jesus’s movement overturned an Empire with peace. They invited the poor and weak rather than enlisting the wealthy and strong. They would rather die than fight back.
So why do we expect it to be any different for the church today? Maybe we like the headlines a bit too much. We would rather draw attention to ourselves than to the One we claim to follow? We talk a lot about rights but not enough of true righteousness. We want people to like us. We want positions of influence rather than commit to be people of influence.
I love to see and hear of churches who are infiltrating a community with grace and mercy. They are seeing the need and filling the need. They share AND show the love of God in practical ways. And before you know it, the community is turned right-side up…the Kingdom is here.