Midweek Faith Lift
July 6, 2022
The Parable of the Leaven
Rev. Deb Hill-Davis
June 16, 2022
The 90 feet between bases in baseball is magic. It’s the perfect distance to make for lots of suspense. A speedy base runner stands a chance of safely making it to base, but infielders also have good odds of throwing a runner out.
Precisely 90 feet is key. Not 89 or 91. Turns out, 90 feet is an athletic, spiritual, geometric wonder.
“Life exists because there is precision in the Universe. The oxygen ratio is perfect; the Earth’s temperature is right on; there’s a system for replenishing air, for producing food and generating energy. We are players in this life-giving system, and we’re invited to be patrons of wholeness.” – Scott Awbrey
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I cease fretting over the end result, and I just hang out in the God-endowed qualities of precision, wholeness, and perfect right action. I am already a winning concern because the Divine showed Its faith in me and placed me in the starting line-up of this thing called life. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
This week we are exploring the Parable of the Leaven, which could best be translated as “trust the process,” show up, pay attention and do your part! The Parable of the Leaven is found in Matthew 13:33 and reads as follows:
The Parable of the Yeast
33 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
This is a very simple teaching to which we could respond, so what? What is the point and why does this matter?
Well, to get the point of this simple illustration we review several things we have already learned in this study of parables. We have studied Universal laws of physics such as the law of entropy, that within a closed system, things just naturally fall apart, which is the automatic tendency within the Universe for things to “even out.” Nature abhors a vacuum, and when there is an absence or void, nature will work to fill that void to restore balance. We can see that all around us right now with all the imbalances of power and the destabilizing process we are experiencing at this time and on so many levels. We are living in the reality of entropy! So now what?
The parable of the leaven tells us that there is something, an invisible energy or substance in the Universe that pervades everything….all of the flour is permeated with this leaven or substance. That is a powerful part of the lesson if we are paying attention. It is like yeast in that it is undetectable and yet is a powerful catalyst that supports growth and expansion, just as the yeast expands the flour, this energy has the power to expand us if we are paying attention and participating in this process. One of the key teachings is to note that Jesus continuously used is that of process not product. His parable of the mustard seed was about the process of organic growth that just happens naturally, a growth that can also happen naturally within us given the right conditions.
What is key here is to understand the growth process and work with it rather than stunting it or diverting it. As the yeast “grows” and the cells split and split again, they give off a gas, which, along with water causes the flour to become dough. Flour and water without yeast become a paste and do not expand, kind of a closed, stuck system. When yeast is introduced and permeates all the flour as a result of the woman’s effort, a whole different process of expansion and transformation happens. So what have we learned so far? There is this substance or energy in the Universe that when we work with it with intention, like the woman making bread, it causes expansion and growth and transformation.
Let’s take a moment and reflect on what we have been learning so far about this “growth “ process that is happening within us, and all around us. When Jesus uses the words “the kingdom of Heaven is like” he is illustrating what God-consciousness is like, using familiar processes like the mustard seed and yeast, common to the people of first-century Palestine, his audience. And the focus was always on the process, not the product, as we have noted. The kingdom of heaven is like the growth process of the mustard seed growing into a tree.
And how does that happen? Well, there is hidden growth as we noted last week that is in the roots, which are below the surface, hidden in the subconscious. The roots of the tree grow as deep into the ground as the expansion of the tree that we can see above ground. If the tree is stunted in growth, the roots are as well. Our whole lesson last week was to look at what is happening below ground in our subconscious that might be stunting or supporting our growth and to consciously choose that which supports our healthy growth!
Now we are looking at what is required for our growth and expansion to happen, what is required for us to not be a “closed system” much like flour paste! We know that the yeast produces bubbles, which expand into the matrix of the bread dough, causing it to expand like a sponge. We also know that the Universe is constantly splitting and expanding. And through the work of Margaret Geller, we have learned that the galaxies that we can see are “distributed” through space, not just randomly strewn about. As Dr. Michael states on p. 109 of The Hidden Parables:
…..the structure of the visible universe appears very much as a fast reach of galaxies arranged in the vast reaches of space as if they were expanded in formations-formations resembling bubbles and clumps- that look exactly like foamy bread dough.
This expansion requires energy, and physicists are not yet clear on where this energy originates, calling it “dark energy” because they cannot yet see it or name it.
From a metaphysical perspective, we would call this energy consciousness and we know that it permeates everything. Like the yeast that causes expansion of the flour to make bread, when the Universe began, there was consciousness that permeated everything. Water is necessary for life, but like yeast, consciousness is necessary for expansion and growth. What is key in this whole structure is the power of our intention, because we know that what we give our attention and energy to is what grows. This is our “I AM” is our Intention + our Attention results in Manifestation. That is what expands, and we have a choice about where our attention goes.
Right now, we see in our culture and around the world, actually, that a lot of our collective energy and attention are going to fear in so many ways. As we have increased our focus on fear and “otherizing” our fellow beings, we for sure increased the level and intensity of the fear that permeates our culture right now. It is so strong that we can no longer find a path to talk about all the issues that we have taken “sides” on in this fear reaction. We are demonstrating the powerful truth that whatever you focus on you will get more of: more hate, more fear, more condemnation, more violence. And we are all subject to that, all of us! Just look at social media and you have a window into this steady stream on both sides of every issue! I am certainly not immune to having hateful feelings toward those I would label as the “other.” But is that what I want more of?
What is true is that consciousness responds to consciousness. We have certainly demonstrated that this is a universal spiritual truth. That being the case, what is it that we can do to add to an uplifting consciousness? Just like the game of baseball that we described in the opening today, what kind of structure can we support that increases the opportunities for positive expansion of care, kindness and increased interest? We understand that conflict attracts interest, hence the news and media focus on conflict. But what about the baseball diamond that provides a “container” for the possibility of drama as a player slides into first base?
What kind of containers can we envision that might allow for a conscious discussion about race, about abortion that has enough space for all to be heard and supports mutual respect for all? We are certainly in need of a shared consciousness that holds all the polarities rather than creating constant black/white, either/or options only. We are metaphysical in Unity, and we understand the scriptures through that metaphysical lens, knowing that all the characters in each story represent some part of us. So, as the woman, our feminine, feeling nature is present in this creative process. We also have three measures of flour, which signifies the trinity or creative process of Mind, Idea, Expression. So what are we being called to create to hold all the polarities rather than focusing on what polarizes or separates us?
We also know that within us we have the trinity of divine/human/observer self which at every moment is empowered to choose where our focus is directed. As Dr. Michael says on p. 112 of The Hidden Parables: “Think about it. Whatever you focus on expands. And you are always focusing on something. You are always causing an expansion whether you know it or not.” So dear ones, let’s consciously choose to focus on gratitude, kindness, deep listening, faith, and mindfulness and consciously create “containers” to hold the tensions out of which these positive energies can be made visible and real to all.
Blessings on the Path,