A Graduate School of Theology and Ministry

Easter Sunday

April 09, 2023

Readings for the day
Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Col 3:1-4 or I Cor 5:6b-8
John 20:1-9

Possible preaching themes:
• Old yeast vs. new yeast from second reading: old yeast spoils, new yeast (Jesus Christ) cleanses, brings faith, hope, and life to us on Easter
• Behavior of Lambs from sequence and Gospel acclamation: using the behavior of lambs as a way to model how Jesus Christ ministers as the Paschal Lamb
• Burial cloths left in the tomb from the Gospel: Shroud of Turin as an artifact studied by science connecting us to Jesus’ death and resurrection

Possible scientific resources:
• “The Science of Baking with Yeast” https://www.finecooking.com/article/the-science-of-baking-with-yeast-2
o Explains what yeast is
o How yeast make bread rise
o What can go wrong with yeast

• “Social Behavior of Sheep” by Gary Landsberg and Sagi Deneberg https://www.merckvetmanual.com/behavior/normal-social-behavior-and-behavioral-problems-of-domestic-animals/social-behavior-of-sheep
o Flock dynamics of sheep
o Gender dynamics of sheep
o Intelligence of Sheep

• The Shroud of Turin https://www.shroud.com/
o Definitive site with current research and accurate data that you can interact with regarding the Shroud of Turin

Homily outline using the image of yeast:

• Old yeast vs unleavened bread
o Yeast Single-celled microorganism
o Many types (over 1,500 species)
o One most commonly used Saccharomyces cerevisiae (which means “sugar-eating fungi”)
o https://www.finecooking.com/article/the-science-of-baking-with-yeast-2

• Why do we prefer yeasted bread?
o It’s taste, texture, smell, different styles of yeasted bread, memories of eating/cooking with risen dough

• How yeast helps bread rise
o When dough is kneaded, yeast metabolizes the starches and sugars in flour
o Yeast turns these starches/sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas
o This gas inflates the bubbles caused by kneading, which causes bread to rise
o During rising, yeast divides and multiplies, producing more carbon dioxide gas
o As long as there is air + carbohydrates in the dough, yeast will multiply until it is actively stopped by heat
o Punching down or stirring a dough after it first rises will refresh the yeast’s environment
o https://www.finecooking.com/article/the-science-of-baking-with-yeast-2

• Paul juxtaposes what old yeast or bad yeast can do to bread vs unleavened bread
o Old yeast or bad yeast for Paul
 Spoils bread like sin spoils us
 Once in us, multiplies and won’t stop growing
• Examples: anger, fear, hatred, avoidance, lust
 If we beat down, avoid, try to mask our sin, just like yeast it will thrive and be refreshed and continue to grow/spoil us
o Jesus Christ: True Bread of Life
 There is a such thing as “good” yeast
 A little yeast goes a long way
 Example of good yeast spreading: when cooking, you take a piece of yeasted dough from one batch to be the starter for the next batch
• Fundamental to using yeast is communal sharing/giving
 Through Jesus Christ’s Paschal Mystery, we are cleansed of old/bad yeast
 Like Jesus Christ who offered Himself for us on the Cross, we are called to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection by becoming the bread of life for others
• A call back to the life Yahweh gave the Israelites through the Passover meal and the mana in the desert
 We are called to be food for those in need

• What does this mean for the community?
o Like new yeast, the Easter Resurrection spreads
 Spread joy, life, hope in our lives
o Paul: calls for use to clean out the old yeast to make room for something new, this is what our 40-day Lenten journey has been for us
o Easter Sunday is what we have been prepared for
o Jesus Christ as bringer of life, of something new

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