Bread from Heaven

To begin, read our First Lesson for Sunday, August 2, 2009:  Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15.

I’m a product of the 1960’s and 70’s, and as such the music of this era had a huge influence on my life. Song lyrics reflected the unrest, anti-establishment and rebelliousness of the time. One song by the Rolling Stones, “I Can’t Get No” (Satisfaction), reflected the dissatisfaction prevalent in society. People would take liberty with the phrase and use it to reflect all manner of grumbling and complaining. While underneath it all; might there be a wanton desire, a longing and/or a deeper need to be filled?

On first read, the Exodus passage for this week sounds like there is unrest within the Israelite community. After having been freed from Pharaoh’s tyranny, there is dissatisfied and continued complaining about their new living conditions while wandering in the wilderness of Sinai. Mind you, walking around in the desert, scrounging for food and drink, sleeping amidst sand chiggers, scorpions and snakes, is not my idea of a good time. I’m sure I’d have been counted among the grumblers. I’d be chanting, “I Can’t Get No” (Satisfaction).

Yet even in their grumbling, the Israelite people turned to God, not away from Him. Amidst their dissatisfaction, they lamented their situation and asked God for help. And I would suspect there is also an underlying longing and/or deeper need to be filled than just food. God’s bread from heaven provides much more than mere physical sustenance.

The Gospel lesson (John 6:24-35) expands on this notion of Bread from Heaven and provides insight into the deeper need within us all.

Grace and peace to all,

Barb Peterson