Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Food crisis in the Horn of Africa

Food crisis in the Horn of Africa (Photo credit: IFRC)

 

Ethiopean Famine

Ethiopean Famine (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

We Need Manna, Lord! 080212

Of all the criticisms I’ve heard leveled against modern Christianity, the failure of God to rain Manna down upon Ethiopia, and South Sudan, and the Congo is the most recent. Why did God rain manna upon the Israelites (a people who some say was mythical at that point) but not rain down manna upon dying children right now (as in Psalm 78, below). And while I’m using the word ‘rain’, why won’t it rain here, where the hottest and driest period in history is underway.

Many years ago I happened to overhear a lady pleading with God over the car-accident death of her grandson. ‘Oh, my God’, she said ‘why did you have to take little Jimmy (or Johnny or whatever) when he was so young? It doesn’t seem fair!’

I almost answered ‘Because little Jimmy was driving at 120 miles per hour, at 3:00 am, and was drunk’. Neither did I mention that his family had bought him a car with more power than one ever needs to drive the highways.

And so it is with manna. I don’t think I can blame God for not supplying manna, when the food my church has given to the poor this year has been so meager. And as to drought, we have not planted very many trees this year as a church, either.

I’m not saying God has no responsibility in all this—maybe it is payback for our human sins. But as a general rule, when I begin to assign responsibility for what’s gone wrong, I need to look at myself first. Before we add on to the church sanctuary (which is not used by the poor and hungry as ‘sanctuary’, but by the rich) we should ask if this is done in Jesus’ name.

Let me make a prediction: Unless the church of Jesus Christ (which means all denominations) begins to deal with the global disasters of hunger and environmental collapse, there will no longer be a Christian church—our western irrelevance will spread worldwide and the church will collapse also. There is something important and relevant we can do as Christians today. It begins with prayer and reading the Bible. It ends with feeding the hungry and restoring God’s environment.

Pray for peace, and yell at your minister to get the church going!

brother Bill

Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Pray with us!

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

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Psalm 78:23-29

Exodus 12:33-42

1 Corinthians 11:17-22

 

 

Psalm 78:23-29

 

23Yet he commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven;

24he rained down on them manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven.

25Mortals ate of the bread of angels; he sent them food in abundance.

26He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by his power he led out the south wind;

27he rained flesh upon them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas;

28he let them fall within their camp, all around their dwellings.

29And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.

Exodus 12:33-42

33The Egyptians urged the people to hasten their departure from the land, for they said, “We shall all be dead.” 34So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls wrapped up in their cloaks on their shoulders. 35The Israelites had done as Moses told them; they had asked the Egyptians for jewelry of silver and gold, and for clothing, 36and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And so they plundered the Egyptians.

37The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. 38A mixed crowd also went up with them, and livestock in great numbers, both flocks and herds. 39They baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt; it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves. 40The time that the Israelites had lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years. 41At the end of four hundred thirty years, on that very day, all the companies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42That was for the Lord a night of vigil, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. That same night is a vigil to be kept for the Lord by all the Israelites throughout their generations.

1 Corinthians 11:17-22

17Now in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18For, to begin with, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and to some extent I believe it. 19Indeed, there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear who among you are genuine. 20When you come together, it is not really to eat the Lord’s supper. 21For when the time comes to eat, each of you goes ahead with your own supper, and one goes hungry and another becomes drunk. 22What! Do you not have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you show contempt for the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I commend you? In this matter I do not commend you!

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

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