The Dough is Rising (even if you can’t see it)

I love to bake bread. Cooking isn’t exactly my favorite hobby, but I’ll happily stand for hours in my kitchen letting sticky dough cover my hands, it’s one of the few places I find peace. Even more so if I can share the process with little hands squishing (and usually eating) dough with me.

There’s a wonderful song by Rain for Roots called Leaven Bread . It’s a catchy song based on Matthew 13:33, where Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to leaven being worked through bread, it’s one among a list of parables where Jesus describes the nature of the Kingdom of God: How different God’s ways are than the ways of man, and how valuable, certain, perfect, and permanent his Kingdom is. Whenever I’m busy turning dough to loaves, Leaven Bread repeats in my head (and often out loud with a little voice joining me):

Leaven Bread
I wanna tell you another story
All about a woman making barley bread
Flour and water out on the table
“We need a little leaven,” she said

So, she works , she works,
she works to mix the leaven into the flour
She works, she works
She works to make the barley bread

Mama, mama, how much longer?
How much longer for the dough to rise
Oh my children, don’t you worry
We just gotta wait till the time is right

So they wait, they wait
They wait while the dough is rising rising
So they wait, they wait
They wait for the barley bread

This is a story of the Kingdom of Heaven
This is what the storyteller Jesus said
The kingdom of Heaven is just like the leaven
That worked to raise up that barley bread

So we wait, we wait, we wait while the Kingdom’s coming coming
We wait, we wait, we wait while the Kingdom’s coming, coming
We wait, we wait, we wait while the Kingdom’s coming, coming
We wait, we wait, we wait for the Kingdom to come

We wait for the Kingdom to come

By Rain For Roots, Written by Sandra McCracken, Flo Paris, Ellie Holcomb, Katy Bowser and Alice Smith

Just like we let the leaven work through our dough and wait for our bread to rise, we let Jesus work and change our hearts and we wait for his Kingdom to be fully realized. Oh and how my heart lifts at these words

The kingdoms of our world are fragile. We all stand on this precipice between solidarity and chaos, and the flutter of a wing brings kingdoms to ruin. Kings, presidents, dictators, they stand over masses and make bold promises, they assert themselves and their power; progress is proclaimed, voices cheer in agreement. Yet, tragedy and conflict flourish, and often goodness seems far from us. But, the Kingdom of God? It works differently. The Kingdom of God is like leaven, it works quietly and surely to bring about huge and lasting change.

The Kingdom of God is humble, bringing the King of the universe to the world amid the poor, born as a helpless baby in the middle of refuse, with a genocide of babies chasing him.

The Kingdom of God is ushered in by a slaughtered Lamb, willingly being led to his death.

The Kingdom of God is not of this world, and yet, it is at work within this world, all powers ultimately bowing before the King of Kings where he uses what some meant for evil and turns it instead into a way to bring his goodness.

The Kingdom of God is not yet, and it is here.

The Kingdom of God is with Jesus.

So, we wait while the dough is rising.

And we teach little hearts about the One who is Truth and Love.

And we watch the dough, imperceptibly changing at first, and then suddenly completely new, growing and touching everything around it.

We watch God bring change where no one else can, we watch the Kingdom of God unfold.

Even right there in the middle of our kitchen with shirts dusted in flour and fingers sticky with dough with a little voice singing,

“We wait for the Kingdom to come.”

*Rain For Roots is by far the best music for children I’ve heard. A lovely group of talented women gathered together to make songs based on Sally Lloyd-Jones’ Jesus Storybook Bible. Their music is beautiful, fun, and full of truth. They also just put out an Advent CD!

Check them out here, and those lovely ladies gave me a discount code just for you all, enter “oceans” and get 10% off your purchase of their Advent album, Waiting Songs (discount code expires 12/31/15).

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