November 17, 2007

Preparing to Be Fed

Exodus 16:21-27

"Give us today our daily bread."
Matthew 6:11


When I was growing up, Saturday was a busy day. It was a time to catch up with chores like cleaning the stables and doing extra things like polishing shoes and learning Sunday school lessons because the next day was Sunday, the Lord's day.

Long ago in the desert God's people Israel also were taught to prepare for a special day each week: the Sabbath. In the process they learned lessons about God's care and their obedience. Each morning the people were encouraged to gather a strange food called manna. Those who worried that there would be nothing the next day tried to save some but then found it full of worms.

God told them to gather a double portion as they prepared for the Sabbath. Some did not. Were they worried that the manna wouldn't last-or did they take God's word for granted? Whatever the case, they went hungry.

When we are overfed, it's easy to think, "Who needs God anyway?" When our stomachs or our children's stomachs ache with hunger, we may think, "God doesn't care about me; why should I care about him?"

Jesus teaches us to pray, "Give us today our daily bread." He wants each of us to understand how weak we are without him, and he calls on each of us to trust him. It is good to meditate on this prayer as we prepare to meet him in worship tomorrow.

Lord, you are the bread of life. May our hearts rejoice because you call us to meet with you in your house of worship. Bread of heaven, feed us till we "want no more." Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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