Scripture: Exodus 16:1-21
‘if only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted…’
That’s what the Hebrew people said to Moses just 30 days after the Lord liberated them from Egyptian enslavement. Isn’t memory a funny thing? We compare the worst of what is to the best of what never was–and then we are swallowed up in despair.
It was a tricky moment for the soon-to-be-Israelites–they were camped out in the Desert of Sin and stuck between the life they had, and the life God was creating for them. They were living in in-between times. The past was gone, and the future was unknown–they were scared and sad and so, so far out of their comfort zone. So they grumbled and they complained, and they turned on Moses and God and one another.
And Moses told Aaron, ‘Say to the entire community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’
The people gathered in terror to find out what God would do to them. And what happened next reveals everything about the nature of our God–whose goodness is far more beautiful than we ever dare to imagine.
I don’t think I’m the only one struggling with fear and despair these days. The pandemic should be over, but it isn’t. I do a lot grumbling and complaining and creative remembering. Sometimes, when I remember God hears, my heart fills with dread. And then the Spirit leads me to stories like this one, and I remember–God is better than I expect or deserve. I remember, God’s goodness is for us, not against us. God meets us where we are, not where we think we should be.
If you are seeking hope and strength and grace in these days, I hope you join us as we gather to worship the God who met our ancestors in the Desert of Sin and fed them with the bread of heaven.