I have recently been learning to bake using sourdough cultures. This mix of yeasts and bacteria is cultivated and grown and then used in place of commercial yeast in bread, pancakes and other baked goods.
Good sourdough is tangy and wonderful. Poor, neglected cultures, or ones contaminated with certain yeast strains or bacteria, are bitter, overly sour or generally foul-tasting. I have learned to beware of catching the wrong yeast!
Staying a focused person of faith and remembering that our faith calls us to be generous and compassionate can be extremely difficult when we are surrounded by seemingly endless negativity and pessimism from nearby and from around the globe. We must be mindful that we eat the living bread from heaven and avoid stirring any more bitterness in ourselves or our communities. Instead, fed on living bread, we can be the tangy, wonderful leaven, leavening the loaf of lives around us.
Gracious God, remind us of your sweet love, grace and forgiveness in a world intent on making us bitter. Let us respond by turning outward and acting as light and leaven where heavy concerns weigh others down. Amen. — BM