Manna. Bread from heaven.

This is what God gives the hungry Israelites in the wilderness. It is bread from heaven. It is life.

Yes, it’s life.

But only if it’s treated properly.

There are a couple of things you can do with Manna: (1) You can eat what you’ve gathered that day. Or, (2) you can put it in a jar to remember the times when God was faithful in the past.

There’s one thing you can never, ever do with manna: you can’t keep it around. You can’t gather on Monday, hoard what you’ve gathered, and eat off it for the rest of the week. Keep leftovers, and you’ll be looking at maggots in the morning.

Manna is good. Manna is divine provision. Manna is life.Manna

But it is only good for the day on which it is given. To honor the reality of manna given by God is not to try to keep living off of what God gave the day before, but to be stirred to confidence that God will act, again, today.

Manna isn’t just about manna. We face the same challenge continually as people who would walk in faithfulness to God.

God does something amazing–in our lives, in our church community, in church history–and the easiest thing in the world for us to do is to keep going back to this old thing in hopes of continuing to draw life and nourishment from it.

Maggots have protein, so yesterday’s manna can sustain us for a long time, but it’s not the divine provision. The divine provision is only found when we faithfully take what is given for the day and move into the next day with humble, faithful expectation that God will provide for us again.

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

We will go out looking for manna. We trust you will provide again tomorrow as you did yesterday.

Pete Rollins, speaking at an event recently, made this claim:

The greatest obstacle to our next experience of God is our last great experience of God.

If we find ourselves stuck looking back at the manna in the wilderness, we’ll never see when the true bread comes down from heaven in the person of Christ. If we find ourselves looking back to the bread in the wilderness, we’ll miss the bread of life given to us each week on the communion table.

How do we honor yesterday? Not by trying to live today on yesterday’s gifts, but by being stirred to faith that the God who so acted then will so act today as well.

3 thoughts on “Manna”

  1. yes! love the application. but are we saying what isnt being said? is this story? does it matter if G-D actually sent food in this special form to fall form the sky, or if this is a story, fiction? or maybe at one time–based on some possible “fact” (whatever that was back then) and then embellished?

    from where I was raised, it is only powerful if it really happened.
    then the application to us is good.
    but if it is [simply] passed down story…. then,…

    I am of the belief, now,… this has no more or less significance either way, you?

    1. I’m not sure that the power of it depends on one view or the other. If someone has come to your position, then this reading can certainly “work” for you; if someone is of your former position, this will work for them as well. I tend to hold questions of the necessity of historicity fairly loosely.

      1. yes,…. both “sides” can share the beautiful mythic idea brought out… what bothers me looking back– and for those still there. is:
        IF it didnt happen, then
        - the Bible is not authoritative
        - God is not who [He} says He is
        - and applications of those accounts fruitless

        which is sad.
        What if-- some of these stories were just... [not just]… Stories? to help center us in a world we needed to make sense of? or… were passed on, and so revised and re-Viewed (midrashed) retellings from possible true events? (like we might call– a movie– that is ‘loosely’ based on a true story) I think BIblical, historical context moves us to this and frees us to re-imagine.

        I don’t think the ancient nomadic israelites were much concerned with our version of history. my two cents . ps: YOU should be at The Wild Goose Festival starting Thursday!

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