Manna & Mercy
This last week, a group of us continued our dynamic conversation around the book Manna and Mercy. Manna in the book is defined as provisions (food and resources) given by God to be used for daily life. There is always enough, but not too much, so people do not need to hoard and are to share with those who have less. Mercy in the book is described as undeserved forgiveness as well as the practice of being compassionate for the most vulnerable and the least in society. Attendees of the Bible/book study were invited to participate in an activity as part of their own discovery of what it means to be a Risen People birthed from the Risen Jesus (language of Daniel Erlander, the author). We reviewed what the author stated about these early disciples who were empowered by the Holy Spirit. We looked at how they lived their new faith filled lives.
These new believers…
– praised God with great joy
– immersed themselves in the teachings of Jesus
– prayed and shared fellowship meals together
– considered their property to be God’s manna for all sold their excess property and distributed the proceeds to the poor. None had too much or too little.
– Worshiped together in the temple
– Proclaimed the good news of Jesus with boldness (Acts 2)
I had the participants then close their eyes and imagine going on a walk through the church and identifying ways we participate in this way of people of the Risen Lord. Look for ways in which we as a church demonstrate Manna and Mercy.
They came up with some beautiful responses that I wanted to share with you:
- I see Manna and Mercy at the altar in the bread and the wine.
- Feeding the latecomer to a meal even if it meant getting all the food out that had already been stored away
- The sounds of joy in the children in Sunday School
- The welcoming and shepherding of the pastors
- The fellowship around donuts (always enough!)
- The Prayer Corner in the sanctuary
- In the choir and the music-every voice, every instrument welcomed
- Shown in the Body of Christ-the people of FoC- a sense of belonging
This list is in no way comprehensive and if we stuck with it for longer the responses would have kept coming. When we can name and claim what it means to be church, we honor and glorify God. So, I invite you to participate in a similar way as this Wednesday class, by imagining all the ways we live out our faith in church as Risen People of Christ. Where do we see Mercy and Manna? Please send those images to me so I can add them to this beautiful list. We are a community of faith who follow Jesus and learn together what it means to be followers of the Way, God’s way.
Thanks for playing along and see you in worship!