July 31

Exodus 16:9-15

“When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.’” vs. 15

When the Israelites saw the flaky substance on the ground, they said, “Man hu,” which in Hebrew means, “What is it?” Their question sounds like “manna,” the word used to describe the life-sustaining bread provided by God in the wilderness, and reminds us that sometimes we don’t recognize God’s blessings even when they’re showered upon us. We do know that we need nourishment of every kind in the course of daily living, bread that feeds both our bodies and souls. We’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out needed daily nutrients for bones and muscles, but we’re not nearly so adept at spotting and consuming the spiritual food God regularly provides. Often it seems so ordinary that we can’t even see that it’s good for us. For instance we’re told that meditation is better than fish oil for personal well-being but we’re skeptical and suspicious. We could meditate, and all of us have the time. Instead we ask “what is it?” and don’t even try. We don’t have a clue that in the meditative silence God can come in a big way and give us soul-strength for every challenge. Manna is like that. It’s so ordinary and readily available, like the bit of bread in Holy Communion. What a pity that so many of us just say “man hu” and never bother to follow up!

Thought for the Day: Where do I find my manna?

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