The Sourdough Gospel.
Flour. Water. Waiting.
Believe it or not, that is all you need to make a sourdough starter from scratch. I started making sourdough bread from my very own starter in fall of 2016, and my life hasn't been the same since. Though I may not get the chance to share my starter with you, but I do want to share with you a lessen this craft has taught me:
The Sourdough Gospel.
(Jesus speaking) "Again, what can I compare the kingdom of God to? It's like a yeast that a woman took and mixed into 50 pounds of flour until it spread through the entire mixture."
I could go to the store and buy a loaf of bread, and that would take about 20 minutes.
Or I could make a loaf from scratch, first with a true sourdough starter from whole grains, and it would take me about 10 days.
720 times longer.
Sure, I could go to the store. I could even buy Kroger's finest packaged bread, the kind that is pre-sliced and soft enough for a sandwich.
But then I'd be missing out on something beautiful and wholesome, for my entire self —body, mind, and spirit.
What I've learned is that I need the Sourdough Gospel.
The one that requires that I wait for longer than I feel entitled to.
The Gospel that politely asks me to sit, like flour and water in those first 48 hours of creating a sourdough starter for bread. I sit and wait upon the hand that feeds me. And even in those first 2 or 3 days of waiting, my maker's hand has faith that things are happening to that dough.
Wonderful things. Powerful things manifesting themselves finally in the form of a few bubbles here and there on that 3rd day.
In that waiting and fermenting, there is a death happening inside that dough. Changing from the inside out, the dough becomes broken down into something whole and truly nutritious —something you can't simply buy in a commercial yeast bread.
And holding true to the sourdough gospel, it doesn't end at death.
Yes, a part of it is broken down. But in that same process, it rises, doubling in size. The yeast is breaking down the things that keep it from rising to its fullest, filling it with new life. Resurrected into a new and better version of its self, the self it was made to be all along.
And that's just the starter —we haven't even gotten to the bread yet.
But therein the beauty lies: all that waiting was just for a starter, a mother to be born for the purpose of sharing in this glorious fermentation. The Sourdough Gospel.
It's this Sourdough Gospel that makes the way for God's Artisan Kingdom. His ways are not our ways; His fine craft is above ours. He is not so concerned about production, about the cheapest, most efficient way to feed his people. He loves them, so instead, he invites them to the table where he can feed them whole foods and whole truth made by His hand.
He's such a homemaker, that he even invites us into his kitchen where he makes the bread for us, using his homemade sourdough that he so patiently created for his guests.
And like a good papa, he shares his family recipes with us. He takes us by the hand and heart, teaching us to treasure the process he designed.
His Artisan Kingdom echoes that lost art of waiting and savoring. The handmade life. The simple life. The slow-paced life.
A life that has the faith to wait gracefully and trust in the maker's hand.
Jesus' Artisan Kingdom honors the creative process. He is not willing to rush the work it takes to create a fine dish nor the time it takes to make a heart of stone into a heart of flesh.
He is never rushed because, like a true artist, he knows that the end product is wholly worth it.
Let me go back to the starter for a second.
So, we have a starter now. And one way to check if it's ready is this:
You take a dollop of it, and put it in a cup of water. If it floats, you're ready to make bread. If not, it needs just a little more feeding and waiting.
A couple weeks ago, I felt Jesus tell me this:
"My promises will keep you afloat to walk on water —find them in my Word."
His promises keep you afloat —they're woven throughout scripture from beginning to end. It's his promises of his presence, his sovereignty, his love that will change you from the inside out. And when they have completed the work in you, you'll rise. You'll float on water.
And you'll know when it's time to share your Sourdough Gospel and see the fruit (or bread) that awaits you after his work is complete.
It's worth the wait.
And even then, it's only the beginning.