Thursday, August 13, 2020


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The Rev Andries Combrink is a Presbyterian Minister of the Gospel. He lives in Centurion, South Africa. 
To teach the Word of God is his calling,  based on the Reformed tradition. 

 

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Matthew 4: 4 
"Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."

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May 3

Written by: Andries
Sunday, May 03, 2020 2:27:00 AM  RssIcon

In Exodus 16 God explained to Moses how the gathering of manna, the bread from heaven, was supposed to work, and he made it very simple. Each family was to collect enough for their own family.
 
Something we are struggling with is how much is enough? What’s enough food to have stored up?  What’s enough? According to Exodus, enough is an omer—a  little more than two litres — per person when it comes to manna.
 
Exodus 16:17-18 (ESV), “And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat.
 
God provides enough.
This story isn’t about everyone getting the same portion. That would be silly and wasteful or dangerous depending on the circumstances. A family of five doesn’t need as much as friends who have twice as many children. They obviously need more than a smaller family.
God has that figured out too.
 
This season might find us stressing out about what we have. Do we have enough resources at home? Do we have enough resources coming in to keep our church going? Are we going to have enough to make it through these trying times?
Having just enough is something many communities has not been struggling ever, while the majority of our congregations know this as a way of life. Many never experienced a lack of anything, while others are struggling with starvation and poverty all the time. Some children often go to bed without food, while others say they are “starving” while they have never even been hungry before.
 
Too many privileged congregants and local churches that have an excess of everything throw away food every day. Some of us have extra cars, extra houses, a vehicle that can only be used part of the year (boats, motorcycles, etc.). Not that these things are bad, but we so often have much more than we need.
 
Need is not something that should be stigmatized.  It is simply the reality for many – and more so with tens of thousands not allowed to go to their place of work.
Understanding true need compared to what we want could clear up a lot - including the question about what is enough.
 
Those amongst us who survive the enormous cost of the lockdown in terms of income, losing our businesses and keeping our congregations going, have no choice but to reach out to our brothers and sisters, to hungry children, who do not have “enough” – especially during this hard lockdown that focuses on health risks, but seem to place the hunger risks second, or third in its ranking of priorities!
Reach out to a neighbouring church where people do not have enough.  Remember the principle in Exodus 16 – we should not have too much while other members of Christ’s family are starving in more ways than one – and their precious congregations are bleeding.
 
God’s people were hungry in the wilderness, and God provided enough. God has always provided enough for his church. But this only works out the way God intended if we share lovingly and fairly with our fellow Christians who experience desperation.
We just may not see it the same way as God. His enough makes us rely on Him to show up again tomorrow, while we should share in a way that our enough includes the enough of others. This is what Exodus 16 is all about.
 
God gives enough.
God is enough.
Let’s rely on him, every day, for everything.
Let’s share what he gives, according to HIS heart and intention.
 
Finally, let’s acknowledge that none of this is easy. Leading a congregation is a difficult undertaking even under ideal circumstances, so continuing to find your way, your calling and your duty during the pandemic is no easy task.
 
This is a time for your congregation to lean even more into prayer as you seek the Holy Spirit’s leading in identifying the right way and the right people to lead your church in all the various important ministries we have been called to.  It requires much more than a technological clued-up minister. It requires much more than securing the future of the privileged congregation we belong to.
 
Rest in the knowledge that God continues to move and he is ever present with us in this crisis.
God is enough for all of us.
Let’s all rely on him and be his servants, every day, in everything. 

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