The Year of The Yeasty Beasty

By Pastor Jim Jenkins

Now here's a thought . . .

2018 is now officially the Year of The Yeasty Beasty. Before you think I have totally lost it, allow me to define my terms. Where I live in Monmouth Oregon there is a popular hangout for the students at Western Oregon University. It's a pub/pizza place called the Yeasty Beasty.

As we get further into this New Year let's think for a minute about a ritual the Jews observe on Passover. The head of the household is to make a search for anything with leaven in it. This is to remind the Jews of the night they left Egypt after 400 years of bondage and misery. The Lord told Moses to tell the people to go through their belongings to make sure they were taking nothing that contained yeast into their future from their lives of bondage.

Why? One reason may be the unique nature of yeast. When I was in seminary, back when the ice covered the earth, my roommates decided that we should each take turns making supper. When it was my turn I was determined to try something exotic. One of my roommates always made Sloppy Joes and applesauce when it was his turn.

I was cocky and tried to make stuffed peppers. I read the recipe, sort of, but felt confident that I could improvise. The recipe called for me to hollow out some bell peppers and the slice them open before I stuffed the contents into them.

This wasn't aesthetically pleasing. I liked it better with them hollowed out, but un-cut. (Presentation is everything for a great chef!) I also took liberties when it came to the amount of rice to use. I mixed in the prescribed amount and figured, "This can't be right," so I added half a box. I finished my masterpiece and shoved in the oven.

I have never actually heard the sound of an underground nuclear test explosion, but I'm guessing it is close to the sound I heard from the oven at the 15 minute mark. My little bell peppers had morphed into football size mutants. Because I didn't make the prescribed cuts to allow for expansion, they exploded.

The entire oven wall was covered in baked-on rice and goo. Who knew that rice expands? Not this genius. I learned my lesson and instead of eating crow we had Sloppy Joes and applesauce, again!

Rice, like yeast, expands. In fact, yeast gives rise to everything it is mixed with. What the Lord was telling Moses was that the people had to be diligent to remember that the bondage of Egypt would give rise to things in the Promised Land if they didn't search for it and get rid of it.

Here is a valid question: What issues, temptations and influences from your past are lingering in such a fashion as to give rise to heartache in your future? Have you been carrying around souvenirs from Egypt? Someone once told me, "Past is prologue." We call it NEW YEARs for a reason.

Why not ask the Lord to cleanse you from all that gives rise to sin and separation from Him? One of the last things The Lord said in the Bible (Revelation) is, "Behold I am making all things New . . .."

Now, that ought to get a rise out of you.

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