The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
And when [the workers] received [their day’s wage], they grumbled against the landowner, saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.”
A recently liberated people who find themselves threatened once again by desert scarcity. Workers troubled by equal pay for unequal work. There is much that troubles us here, that seems lacking, but the striking truth is that in each case everyone has just what they need—their daily bread, provision for the journey, meaningful work to do.
This is a different economy, a different culture, a different system than that which dominates our present-day experience. It is one in which everyone has what they need. What more could we want?
Enter into worship.
Readings: Exodus 16:2-15 † Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 † Philippians 1:21-30 † Matthew 20:1-16
About the Art: Moore, Mike. Manna 1, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=57599 [retrieved September 11, 2023]. Original source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEMA_-_39022_-_Overview_of_Baptist_Men_mobile_kitchen_and_commodity_point_of_distribution_in_Texas.jpg.
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