Toasting the Bread of Life

I propose a toast to Jesus!

I’ve been reading through Exodus as part of a reading plan, and I was struck by my own tendency to mimic the infuriating behaviors of God’s chosen people. Namely, their seeming inability to trust God no matter how many times He proves Himself trustworthy.

The specific instance I read about today involved God giving very specific instructions concerning how much manna the people were to gather and the people giving God the equivalent of a very specific finger in response. Ok, maybe not quite that harsh (though an event that is that harsh is coming up, I know) but there is clearly a strong theme among the Hebrews of blatant disregard for God here. He promises them that He will meet their needs and care for them, and they basically take the stance of “no thanks God, we got this one!” The kicker, in my opinion, is this: they are doubting God’s daily provision while they are gathering God’s daily provision. In what universe does that make any sense at all?!

Apparently, in the universe I live in. In a sin-laden universe where our fallen nature consistently clouds our judgement and leads us astray. Let me set the scene for you: every morning I wake up to have time in the Word. Every morning I benefit from that time in the word. Somehow, inexplicably, every morning I find myself thinking things like “I read yesterday, that ought to be enough for now… I’ll just hit snoozzzzzzzzzzzz…”

Clearly I’ve adopted an attitude of disregard and distrust for God’s provision. Despite His proven track record of meeting me where I am and revealing Himself to me as I absorb scripture, and despite my proven track record of feeling spiritually underfed on the days I don’t read, I consistently wake up with a mindset of “I gathered enough scripture yesterday… I’ll pass on gathering more today.”

Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 in Luke 4:4, reminding us that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Scripture (i.e. the word of God) reveals Jesus (i.e. the Word of God). The Word of God is also the Bread of Life. Exodus 16:18 tells us that those who gathered much manna had no excess; those who gathered little had no lack. A few verses later we learn that those who attempted to store up manna found it spoiled the next day. The Bread of Life, like the bread from heaven, cannot be gathered in excess and, although I can store up what I gather through meditation, I can’t expect my stores to sustain me indefinitely. No matter how much I take in today, I will find myself needing to gather more the next day and the next day and the next day…

So here’s to Jesus, the founder of our feast!