Thursday, May 06, 2021

Rev. Klockers: One should use just the right measures when talking about being blessed

| January 20, 2021 1:00 AM

This is a portion of the story of Moses leading the Israelites in the wilderness after they left Egypt. It is from Exodus 16:13-21 (New Revised Standard Version of the Bible):

“In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: “Gather as much of it as each of you needs, an omer to a person according to the number of persons, all providing for those in their own tents.”’ The Israelites did so, some gathering more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, those who gathered much had nothing over, and those who gathered little had no shortage; they gathered as much as each of them needed. And Moses said to them, ‘Let no one leave any of it over until morning.’ But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul. And Moses was angry with them. Morning by morning they gathered it, as much as each needed; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.”

I am reminded of this story when I say the petition “give us this day our daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer. The God-given “bread” (called manna) was to be distributed by the Israelites, as shared portions, measured just right – not lacking, and not in excess.

I have heard the term “I’ve been blessed” used often. It is associated with the sense that God has given special favor.

If we follow Jesus’ instructions to truly love one another, that blessing shouldn’t then be to solely benefit a single recipient and enable one to smile broadly, shout for all the world to hear “I’m favored,” and do a happy dance.

If we share our blessings beyond ourselves the question the Israelites asked will be answered. They queried about the bread: “What is it?”

The answer is blessings are opportunities to care for one another. They just need to be portioned out in the right way to benefit more than the self.

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Moses Lake and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.