Date: Tuesday, April 16
Scripture: Exodus 16:1-21
Verse: The Lord spoke to Moses and said, “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’“ (Exodus 16:11-12)
Every evening, before diving into dinner, our family says a simple grace I learned as a child, “God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food.” Many years ago now, The Simpsons satired this grace with Bart offering this prayer, “Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing.” While we would never be brash enough to offer that prayer, there are times when we take God’s provision for granted, and even take credit for it ourselves. The simple grace we offer before dinner serves as a reminder that although “we paid for all this stuff ourselves,” every good gift comes from God.
There in the wilderness, God provides quails and manna – meat and bread – to sustain the Israelites in their need. God sends enough for them to survive on every day. Some are less trusting, and take more than they need, but it spoiled by morning. The test is for them to trust God more than themselves.
Most of us are not living with just enough for today. We have refrigerators holding food to last the week, and freezers where it will keep even longer. It is difficult for us to imagine what it would be like to only have enough for today, and trust God there will be more tomorrow. But this is just how Jesus calls us to live as well. He taught his disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” God has given us enough for today. Let us pause to give thanks.
Prayer: Thank you God for providing for my needs today. I am trusting in you to provide for them again tomorrow. Amen.
Action: Try a new grace in the day ahead. Give thanks to God for every meal.
For ideas on some different grace prayers for before meals, check out these on an Anglican webiste: http://home.pcisys.net/~tbc/mealpryr.htm
Respond: Do you have grace you share as a family? Who normally offers grace before your family meals? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.