Daily reflection for the Season of Lent

Tuesday 23rd February 2021


Whingeing in the wilderness!

Today, the road map to easing the lockdown was announced by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. I do not envy her job, as we all want life to return to normal as soon as possible. The end of pandemic might be in sight, but we must still shield and separate ourselves as the risk of infection remains. And I wonder how many of us feel like the children of Israel on their long weary pilgrimage of the Exodus (A 40 year journey that took them from slavery in Egypt to the freedom in the promised land.) Personally, speaking I am feeling fed up and feel that like having one enormous whinge! (Wearing my Mr Grumpy hat today!)

Bible Reading

Exodus 16: 11-16

 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’ ”
So it was that quail came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.  This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need.


The main complaint of the people was a loss of hope due to hunger. They were out in the wilds with no obvious source of food or nourishment. In response to the prayers and complaints of the people God provided for them a rather curious source of food. At night, the camp was invaded by flocks of quail and in the morning a substance called Manna appear on the ground up and made into cakes. Raw manna was said to taste like wafers that had been made with honey. Exactly what this manna was if unknown to us. The narrative of the Exodus makes it clear that this food was supernaturally provided by God for his people. The curious thing though, is that apart from the additional manna collected for the Sabbath, it did not keep. Stored manna bread worms and stank!

Perhaps the message we can take from this is how we all need nourishment for our souls if we are to keep focussed and positive and have hope. But God will provide his grace for our hungry hearts and flagging spirits when it is needed! And God’s grace is most frequently encountered in the most unlikely of places.

Writing from a Jewish perspective, Alden Solov offers this poem.


Manna still flows from heaven,
Riding on beams of light,
Warmth and heat,
Awe and passion,
Wonder and glory,
Feeding this grateful heart.
Manna still flows from heaven,
Summoned with beams of prayer,
Mourning and jubilation,
Praise and thanksgiving,
Hope and yearning,
Praising God’s Holy Name.
Manna still flows from heaven,
To sustain this land,
To nourish this soul,
To enliven the days
And bless the nights
With bread of life
From the Soul of the Universe.


May God the Father,
who does not despise the broken spirit,
give to you a contrite heart.
May Christ,
who bore our sins in his body on the tree,
heal you by his wounds.
May the Holy Spirit,
who leads us into all truth,
speak to you words of pardon and peace.
And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.