Between the Lines: Pentecost 14: Proper 20- September 18, 2011

Text: Exodus 16:2-15

mannaIn Hebrew, manna is a wordplay on the question “what is it?” that the Israelites ask upon seeing the bread from heaven that has come in the night. Although there have been many attempts to correlate the story of manna with natural events occurring in the desert, such as substances created by a kind of desert insect, the details of the story display features of the manna which are not likely to be literally true:

  • there is enough for everyone
  • no matter how much each person gathers, it always measures out the same
  • the supply is for one day only; any leftovers spoil
  • on the sixth day, each person gathers two measures, and the extra does not spoil, so that no work need be done on the Sabbath
  • the people survive on manna for forty years

What has been “bread from heaven” in your life? What has sustained you, but resisted being hoarded or gathered? How has it been sufficient for your needs? Have you ever tired of it, or wanted something different?

– Andy Kille


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