Mothers’ Union Devotion Sunday 20th September- the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity
‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” ’ Exodus 16.12
At the height of lockdown, the idea of food coming from heaven might have had quite an appeal. The scene described in Exodus, however, is not like a home delivery from the supermarket or indeed your support of family and friends: items selected by you safely delivered in the appropriate packaging at a selected time – clean, personal and convenient.
Imagine the scene in your local street at dusk if it was suddenly inundated with small semi-flightless birds, which we all had to go out and catch each day. A rather comical scene comes into my mind, of each of us and our neighbours trying to net half a dozen squawking, fluttering, panic struck birds. To which the only appropriate background music, I suggest, would be the Benny Hill theme tune. If on the other hand, the birds were already dead when they landed, well, the carnage the next morning on our pavements if they were not all collected just does not bear thinking about.
Having survived the evening bird-harvest we would then have to get up each morning at daybreak in order to gather the manna, because it disappears as soon as the sun rises. Annoyingly, you could not collect double one day in the hope of a lie-in tomorrow because any leftover becomes maggot ridden by the following morning. This begs the question – would this method of food supply count as leaving your house for your twice daily exercise? I think I will continue to persevere with supermarkets, despite the slightly uncomfortable feeling about shopping at the moment.
Just as God provided for the Israelites in the wilderness, so God provides for us, thankfully in a rather more subtle way than raining bread and meat. God’s constancy provides sun, rain and fertile soil which ensures a bountiful harvest. The love of God manifest in each us, means that we are always blessed with the gift of friendship and care. The intelligence that comes with being made in the image of God, has enabled the technologies by which we can keep in touch and support each other, when we cannot meet in person. God continues to bless us daily in these and so many other ways.
As we appear to be heading back towards our wilderness, with infections rising and new restrictive measures being put in place, let us try not to forget. Not to forget that we have come through this before with the support of God, the support of each other and the power of prayer and with God’s help we will come through it again.
With love and prayers