One of my domestic pleasures is baking my own bread. I maintain a small blue pot containing a live yeast culture. All I have to do, each day, is to mix half of my yeast culture into some flour and water, add a little salt, knead it all together, and leave the dough to slowly rise until the loaf is light and fluffy and ready for baking. This is the very same method for baking bread that was used in the ancient world.
Jesus said that God’s work is like yeast, which when mixed into flour, silently leavens the dough.
Christians often make the mistake of muddling up the church and the kingdom of God, assuming that Jesus’ parable is about the growth of the church (their own church in particular). It is not. Jesus parables about God’s kingdom are not about the church as an organisation, but give us insight into how God is working in this world, day by day, community by community.
God’s kingdom is not showy or attention seeking; it does not draw attention to itself in any way. It works silently and unseen to bring life, love and forgiveness to the world.
When I carefully shape my daily bread into a loaf, I cannot see the yeast, or hear it, and it’s effect on the dough is so slow that I cannot see the change taking place. But as long as the yeast is there, doing it’s discreet work, I know my bread will rise and - come lunchtime - I will have a lovely crusty loaf.
We do not need to announce to the world what we are doing in God’s name. We simply need to mix ourselves into our communities and make a godly difference.