Daily Bread

My mom had a favorite book she liked to read to us when we were little, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. It’s a fun and silly story that follows a little boy who generously gives a mouse a cookie but then a snowball of events happen. The mouse needs milk for his cookie, but he doesn't want a milk mustache so the boy gives the mouse a straw.  Of course the mouse then needs a mirror to check his face which leads the mouse to remember he needs a hair cut so he needs scissors and so on and so on. It reminded my mom of her work at the church.  She was always moving from one thing to the next so quickly that sometimes one task spilled into the next and at the end of the day her to do list grew exponentially and nothing seemed to have moved off the list.

When God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, God instructed Moses to lead them to the Promised Land through the wilderness.  The people, however, did not like the wilderness. They were hungry and tired and mumbled and grumbled all day to Moses and Aaron. So the Lord provided the people with manna from heaven. Each day, manna would be scatted on the ground and the people were instructed to take what they needed for the day. But of course, they took more than they needed and learned their lesson the hard way as they endured the smell from the rotten manna. But we find that giving manna to the Israelites was like giving a cookie to that mouse. Biblical scholar, Michael Walzer, writes, “The miracle of the manna follows, and God, were He not omniscient, might plausibly have assumed that the people would henceforth be content. He had brought them out of bondage, opened the sea for them, destroyed Pharaoh’s army, and sustained them in the wilderness – and that should have been enough. But it wasn't enough: manna in the wilderness bred nostalgia for meat in the house of bondage.” You see the people liked the manna but then they remembered the meat and fish they would eat in Egypt and they longed for that food and wondered if they should have stayed as slaves in Egypt because at least they were fed well.

Sometimes we are not so different from the Israelites. God gives us blessings and we are appreciative for a while but then we begin to grumble and we forget the blessing God had given and we want more and more demanding from God our every need and even some of our wants. In the kitchen of Thompson Church there is the sign pictured above, “Give us this day our daily bread”.  This is a reminder that God provides what we need and that we should keep our eyes open each day to witness to and give thanks for our daily bread from heaven.