Faith Focus: Like yeast, we have the power to manifest change

Fran Fletcher

Fran Fletcher - Credit: Archant

I expect that, over the last three months, most of us have had a ‘moment’. Perhaps something quite trivial, but the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Early in lockdown, I stood in front of the flour shelf in a local supermarket and found it bare. It was not about food, as there was plenty of bread for sale. This was the loss of my hobby, the enjoyment and therapeutic calm which I gain from baking my own bread.

Fortunately, a friend suggested that I try Sycamore Wholefoods on Hatfield Road. It proved to be the Aladdin’s Cave of flours and dried fruits but, more significantly, they also introduced me to using fresh yeast in bread making. Lockdown gave me the time to experiment and to discover that fresh yeast produced much better results than dry, powdered yeast.

There are many references to yeast in the Bible, both symbolic and literal. Just as only a small amount of yeast causes an entire loaf of bread to rise, Jesus refers to the Kingdom of God and how it can be greatly impacted by seemingly small actions. Interestingly, in the Old Testament, bread made with yeast was also used as a peace offering.

In St Albans and Harpenden many people have acted like yeast during the coronavirus crisis, small and positive actions which have led to a greater change in society. We have truly learnt to ‘love thy neighbour’. As the rules begin to relax in the coming weeks, how can we ensure that we maintain this new society?

Our street has been saving money and saving the planet by passing on numerous items to one another: bikes, books, toys, furniture and plants.

Many people have been fully shielding now for 14 weeks and feel especially vulnerable as life changes around them. They need our support more than ever and our best efforts at keeping them safe.

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We often convince ourselves that our actions are only a drop in the ocean, insignificant against the rising tide. Could we change our mindset and view our behaviour as yeast instead, with immense power to manifest change?

Fran Fletcher is a member of St Michael’s Church, St Albans and a teacher of Spanish and French.