It Doesn’t Take Much

By Rev. Deb Stehlin

On Sunday, I got to preach at St. Philip’s in Fridley. Between worship services, I was also able to take part in an educational forum. People of all ages showed up, which made for rich conversation. At one point, I asked the teens, “How many of your friends are part of a faith community?”

“Jesus likens the work of God in God’s people to a tiny amount of yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until the whole loaf was leavened.”

One answered, “Not very many.”

“What does that feel like to you?” I asked.

“Lonely. Because I don’t have many friends I can talk about faith with,” she said.

Some might see this change in the status of the church in society as losing ground. I’m not worried.

 

CHRISTIAN CONTEMPLATIVE Richard Rohr, in The Divine Dance, The Trinity, and Your Transformation, says it well: “You can see why the most Jesus hoped for … is that his group became a ‘little flock.’ … Jesus calls it ‘leaven,’ or ‘yeast.’ He seems to have the patience and humility to trust a slow, leavening process. This is quite different from any notion of … ‘Christendom.’”

Jesus likens the work of God in God’s people to a tiny amount of yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until the whole loaf was leavened.

“On Sunday, the people of St. Philips blessed their disaster response team. For 13 years, this crew of skilled plumbers, electricians, and carpenters has entered into devastated places equipped with the love of Christ and well-appointed tool belts.”

When we claim this way of being, it’s always at odds with powers that oppress. When the way we love looks like concrete acts of service, when we live in hope and not in fear, it doesn’t take much, and the whole loaf is leavened!

On Sunday, the people of St. Philips blessed their disaster response team. For 13 years, this crew of skilled plumbers, electricians, and carpenters has entered into devastated places equipped with the love of Christ and well-appointed tool belts. This will be their 64th trip. One of their leaders said that places devastated by this year’s hurricanes will be ready for them in the spring. They’re gearing up for that work now.

This is leaven, I tell you.

Did you know that each synod in the ELCA has a partner synod here in the U.S.? Our partner is the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, which includes Houston. Congregations in our synod are already planning to do the ministry of showing up, mucking out, clearing debris, and praying. First Lutheran in Columbia Heights is arranging for buses to make a trip in November.

Is your congregation planning a trip? We’d love to know about it so we can be better together.

2017-09-25T11:39:44+00:00September 25th, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , |