Sunday, September 21, 2014

Manna from Heaven: How God Feeds Us

"Jesus is God's manna in the wilderness, 
the one who reminds us day by day that we live because God provides not what we want,
necessarily, but exactly what we need:
some bread, some love, some breath, some wine, 
 a relationship with this ordinary looking man, who comes from heaven to bring life to the world."
~Barbara Brown Taylor, from Bread of Angels

Our Old Testament reading this morning continues the story of Moses and the Israelites journey.
The journey was challenging to say the least.  After some time on the road -walking in the desert,  thousands of people were finding it difficult to come up with food. They complained bitterly to Moses that even in slavery they’d had food to eat. God heard their complaints and promised to feed them.

God told Moses:  “Each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day,”

We know how the story goes. If the people tried to hoard it, it spoiled overnight. In the morning it stank and crawled with worms. When the sun got hot, it melted. Manna  -one day at a time.  This is how they lived in the wilderness for forty years.  One day at a time. They ate raw manna, boiled manna, baked manna, ground manna.  It was how they survived until they came into the land of Canaan, so that manna became for them the symbol of God’s very practical, physical care for them.

How does God care for and feed you?
  • Is it in the quiet of the sunrise?
  • Is it in Joyful worship?
  • Is it in Celebrating Community?
  • Is it in Lifelong Learning?
  • Is it in Engaging Outreach?
  • Is it in the joys and difficulties in relationships?
If we are willing to look at everything that comes to us as coming to us from God, then there will be no end to the manna in our life. Nothing will be too ordinary or too fleeting to remind us of God. Because it’s not what the manna is that counts but who sent it, and the real miracle is that God is always sending us something. Day by day God is made known to us in the simple things that sustain our lives.

God always shows up. God shows up in the things that sustain us in His way and in His timing.  It is manna , bread from heaven. Not dropped from the sky, but delivered from God through the conduits of his grace in our lives and in our hearts.  It may not always be what we pray for, yet with our faith we come to recognize the miracles that God has sent- providing just what we need, feeding us with the ordinary and making the ordinary holy.

The gentle loving touch of a friend when our heart is heavy.
The phone call that comes out of no where when we are lonely.
The worship in our work.
The gentle breeze on a hot summer day.
The changing leaves in the fall.
The _________(you fill in the blank)
God points us to the ordinary to find Him. 

God pointed us to an ordinary man like you and I, who loved, served and wept. God shared His son with us. Jesus is our manna from heaven. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus we are fed in ways we never could dream possible. Each week as we worship together we are reminded how Jesus feeds us with the ordinary and it becomes holy:  

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our  Lord Jesus Christ took bread;
and when he had given thanks  to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, "Take,  eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the  remembrance of me."
After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given  thanks, he gave it to them, and said, "Drink this, all of you:  This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you  and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink  it, do this for the remembrance of me."
God feeds us with the life giving sacrifice of Jesus and we are fed by the giving and receiving of this nourishment of the spirit each and every week, each and every day. St Augustine reminds us,
" Be that which you have received."
What does this mean for you?
What manna has God blessed with you today?
How will you share that blessing with others?











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