Manna came down from the heavens and water came from rocks.
God was and still is teaching that God remains with us always.
The Exodus was not a one time event but continues to this day. We are all dependent on God to physically sustain us and to emotionally sustain us while we journey home.
The manna that fed the people was not like any other bread they had seen or eaten before. Perhaps it tasted differently. Some days the manna would be good to the taste, sometimes it was coarse and bitter and some days it could be downright awful.
Yet no matter how it looked or tasted or manifested itself, it would fill them up, nourish them, and remind them that God was taking good care of them. Forty years in the desert was a long time.
We are in the same situation now. Everything we eat is not to our liking. It reminds me of going to a grandmother's house and she served broccoli, squash, and strange tasting meatloaf. The food is healthy but it did look and taste unpleasant. Yet, we eat what is on our plate because we are blessed with food and blessed with the company of the people we love. Food is a way of expressing love.
Do you remember growing up that your parents fed you something you did not like and told you to clean your plate because the food was good for you? We all ate it because we wanted to please our parents and go on with the day's activities. I hated liver but my mother told me it was good.
God was showing God's love with the abundance of nourishing food and was showing us how much our parents loved us. As a child we realized God's love for us because we were taken care of by our parents. In some cases one parent or another may have disappointed us or were hard. We all survived because we are here at Jesus Our Shepherd.
I also realized that we are providing manna for others when we bring gifts of food for the food pantries. Someone who I know received a box of food from a food pantry. In it were a wide variety of manna or food that would be life sustaining:
-yams -olives -soup -pickles
-pork & beans -cream of mushroom soup -spaghetti
I heard this person complaining about the yams and the olives. I reminded this person that the food was different but would sustain them. We always do not get what we want.
This helped me remember that the food I received and continue to receive might not be to my liking but that God is nourishing my body.
God knows that we need to be nourished with more than physical food. We need to be constantly nourished with care, love, companionship, encouragement, and safety.
I remember and I am sure you remember now we were nourished by our parents.
Each one gave us all that they had inside to make sure we felt loved and cared for. My father showed me love by including me when he went pheasant hunting. He brought me to safety training to use a gun. Then he took me out in the cornfield to hunt pheasants. One flew up and he called out Shoot! Shoot! Guess what happened. I could not bring myself to kill an animal. After that incident, I went along with my dad but never carried a gun. My dad had tried to bond with me in a hunting experience. I loved him for it. But, I sure was glad when my brother was born.
We give love and compassion and new life to others. On this Father's Day, I want to remember the fathers, step fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and those fatherly influences have been instrumental in giving us sustenance and life.
I ask a special blessing on those we celebrate today.
I ask that God hold our special parents today in your heart and hands and bless them as they have blessed us.