May 8, 2018 Common Good

Enough in the Wilderness

The real “miracle” of the bread from heaven was not in its appearance. What was so radically different from Egypt was this bread’s dailiness. The unique habit forming significance of the “Wonder” bread was the specific instruction that the Israelites were not to take more than one day’s supply.

“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 (from Exod 16:20–21).” The stored-up bread bred worms. It smelled bad. It melted. It would not last. “Wonder” bread lacks preservatives, because it is given daily, enough but not more, enough so that none need hunger. The bread of heaven is a contradiction to the rat race of production; the creator God who presides over the bread supply breaks the grip of Pharaoh’s food monopoly; food is freely given outside the economic system that functions like an Egyptian pyramid with only a few on top of the heap.

It is a challenge to see the wilderness as a place of enough. When we experience generosity, it is tempting to hoard it for ourselves, certain that my security tomorrow depends on my accumulation today. It is so very difficult to change the habit of scarcity, and so even great generosity rots in our individualistic hands, when we chose to isolate ourselves from others in need.

What is one way to rehabituate our fear of the future, trading it for a trust that any generosity we experience now could very well continue. How can you make the most of your daily bread, while noting opportunities to share with others who are in this present?




Brueggemann, Walter. Journey to the Common Good (pp. 17-18). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.

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