The Sourdough Starter

Read: “So how do we fit what we know of Abraham, our first father in the faith, into this new way of looking at things? If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, ‘Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point.’” Romans 4:1-3 (MSG)

“Then Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks to God and passed them out to the people. Afterwards he did the same with the fish. And everyone ate until full!” John 6:11-12 (TLB)

Reflect: We were a young military family, barely scraping by financially. Our three little kids spent their days playing in the neighborhood with friends, and they would all inevitably end up in my kitchen, famished. It was getting expensive feeding all those kids!

One day my friend shared her sourdough starter with me. It’s a goopy mess of sourdough that needs to be fed flour and water. Then, as it ferments and multiplies in volume, it is used as the base for loaves of sourdough bread. Soon I was making bread every day. And it was cheap! The ingredients cost less than a dollar per loaf. It fed the kids in my neighborhood, the moms who came to visit, friends who were sick, teachers up at our school. I took it to pool parties, block parties, and birthday parties. Crusty sourdough, warm out of the oven, with real butter and homemade strawberry-lime jam seeping into a freshly cut piece of bread. This, my friends, is happiness!

It took me a while to realize that this bread was not just bread. God had given me, through my friend’s generosity, a means of connecting with the people in my community. Sharing bread is sharing love. That small, goopy mess of sourdough still lives in a Mason jar in my fridge all these years later. It has produced thousands of loaves of bread. Those thousands of loaves have fed hundreds of people. And those hundreds of people have become the folks I love here in this community. God can do a lot with a little.

React: What small gift have you been given? How could God multiply that gift to bless others?

Pray: Our loving God, creator of all things great and small, may we enter into what you are doing in this world. It is your world, and it is your story.