Scripture Reading: Exodus 16:4-11
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I’m going to make bread rain down from the sky for you. The people will go out each day and gather just enough for that day. In this way, I’ll test them to see whether or not they follow my Instruction. 5 On the sixth day, when they measure out what they have collected, it will be twice as much as they collected on other days.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “This evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 7 And in the morning you will see the Lord’s glorious presence, because your complaints against the Lord have been heard. Who are we? Why blame us?” 8 Moses continued, “The Lordwill give you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning because the Lord heard the complaints you made against him. Who are we? Your complaints aren’t against us but against the Lord.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole Israelite community, ‘Come near to the Lord, because he’s heard your complaints.’” 10 As Aaron spoke to the whole Israelite community, they turned to look toward the desert, and just then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared in the cloud.
The people of Israel were given bread from heaven as a sign of God’s faithfulness. This sign was intended to remind God’s people of God’s character and God’s miraculous deeds. Remember, God has recently brought them out of Egypt, conquered Pharaoh with the plagues and led them through the Red Sea on dry ground. Now they were grumbling about their dinner. Even though God had been faithful to deliver them, they still didn’t trust God. In response to their complaining and grumbling, God provided. In response to their unfaithfulness, God was faithful. This reminds us that God’s provision for us does not depend on our faithfulness but instead depends on God’s faithfulness. God provides for God’s people even in the midst of rebellion and disobedience.
Take a piece of bread or cracker or tortilla, whatever you have on hand.
As you hold your bread, confess your sin to God. Where have you been unfaithful? Where have you complained and grumbled against God? Write it down. As you do, receive God’s forgiveness. Accept God’s faithfulness to you.
“O Holy One, we call to you and name you as eternal, ever-present, and boundless in love. Yet there are times, O God, when we fail to recognize you in the dailyness of our lives. Sometimes shame clenches tightly around our hearts, and we hide our true feelings. Sometimes fear makes us small, and we miss the chance to speak from our strength. Sometimes doubt invades our hopefulness, and we degrade our own wisdom. Holy God, in the daily round from sunrise to sunset, remind us again of your holy presence hovering near us and in us. Free us from shame and self-doubt. Help us to see you in the moment-by-moment possibilities to live honestly, to act courageously, and to speak from our wisdom.
-Book of Common Prayer