Looking at Exodus 16 today, the passage about the manna and the quail- it makes me think of those buffet type eateries in service stations by motorways… you go there and there’s all this food around you, its all ‘ok’ but rarely exciting, and yet it sustains you. Its fine because for most of us we eat in these places a few times a year, but for those who’s jobs mean they are on the road frequently these eateries are a regular stop off, and i can imagine that sense of ‘same old, same old’- which was the cry of the Israelites… ‘What? manna from heaven again? Where’s the bbq sauce?’
And yet- manna sustains them in a dry and empty place, the quail is a sign of God’s generosity, the double portion and the sabbath rest a reminder of the place of rest from work; and all of this despite their grumbling.
Unity is a really important part of community (its even in the word…how clever) and its a central aspect of the Christian faith- all that talk of ‘the Body of Christ’ etc, but even when the Israelites are bickering and grumbling God cares for them and provides for them.
So what does this all mean to me? Its reminding me of the importance of trusting God, not just for our destiny after we die, or for spiritual things, but in all things. At the same time it encourages me that i don’t need to have it all sorted out or be perfect before I can start to follow God- in whatever state i’m in, God responds to the cry of my heart and usually in ways i would never have predicted (is dinner on the table? no, its just flying over the horizon).