Pondering for Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of Proper 6: Year 2

Morning, Psalm 78:1 to 39; Evening, Psalm 78:40 to 72;

Numbers 11:1 to 23; Romans 1:16 to 25; Matthew 17:22 to 27:

“And say to the people: Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wailed in the hearing of the Lord, saying, ‘If only we had meat to eat! Surely it was better for us in Egypt.’ Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. You shall eat not only one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you—because you have rejected the Lord who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?’” (Numbers 11:18 – 20)

All of the prescribed readings for today are very good.  But the presence of God in the manna in our Numbers reading was particularly interesting to me.  They are told that they “rejected the Lord who is among you.”

This manna was the food of faith and freedom.  They were living in the wilderness without taskmasters. All they had to do was breathe and eat the simple meal that was provided for them.

It doesn’t take us long to become bored and complain does it?  Meat is nice but bread is our staple.  I see the communal nature of what’s going on with the manna, the Emanuel of it, the God with us in it.  Today in our Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina, we are back to full Holy Communion. Never have I been so glad to receive it as now.  Covid was a real lesson about the importance of Holy Communion.  While I keep up with our Daily Office as shared in this my daily blog, there is no way to receive the manna, the bread and wine via streaming electronics. We must be together for that.

Unlike the wondering Israelites Ukraine has never considered going back to being under Russian control. Their only complaint is that Russia, like old Pharaoh, did not want to leave them alone.

Holy Communion may be the only way Russia and Ukraine can really come together. War will not work. Secular negotiations don’t seem to work either. Given that both nations have a Christian faith component within them, perhaps coming together around a table of peace will go a long way towards truth and reconciliation, and peace. I ask in prayer that our Lord Jesus do this work and that the Holy Spirit of God lead and guide both sides to come to the Table together.  Our initial response might be that such a request is impossible. But let us be reminded that nothing is impossible for God.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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