One of the problems when my son was ill some years ago as a teenager, was that he got BORED oh, so BORED. One day we suggested a trip out to Shrewsbury, just a change of environment. Rather than delay to put some food together, we thought we would buy something out. Hmmm…wrong move. The medication he was on interacted badly with yeast. Have you any idea how many products contain yeast? As well as the obvious bread, it’s in gravy, lots of flavourings, lots of manufactured food both sweet and savoury. Chips would have been a safe option, but not a single chip shop in Shrewsbury was open, would you believe. So the poor lad ended up with a bag of plain crisps! Not quite the treat out we’d envisaged.
Yeast is not a problem for most of us to eat. I love bread. A normal healthy system can cope with it, and it contains good nutrients. It was only the medication for our son that caused the complications. But God told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover with a period of time without yeast (Exodus 12:17-20). It was a symbol of purification. Like yeast is found so much of our food, sin permeates our society. Buy a new jumper for example. Do you choose the cheap one made with slave /child labour? Choose the fair-trade one if possible, but then the family in the squalid slavish situation is even worse off; campaign for the rights of their child to be in education not employment, and the tiny but essential wages are lost to them. They cannot win. A right choice is not always available in this sin-enmeshed world.
We cannot live in a sin-free environment. Bad stuff is all around us. All we can do is strengthen ourselves to withstand the onslaught of sin that pervades our atmosphere. We need some spiritual Scotchgard! Ephesians 6:10-18 outlines the Armour of God: truth, righteousness, readiness to speak out, faith, certainty of our salvation, and the word of God. And prayer for one another. Digging and anchoring into God, having others around you to watch your back as you watch theirs; equipped and determined. That’s how we can mix with sinners in a sin-contaminated world. And having done all, to stand.