What Is It?

Through the Wilderness

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

Manna, that’s what we’re celebrating today. Manna in the wilderness, sustenance for the journey. But also a question. “Manna” in Hebrew translates as, “What is it?” The perfect question for this odd stuff that just appeared in the wilderness every morning.

Week 3: What Is It?

Exodus 16:2-15

Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal. (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)

Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have each participant answer the question, “What is the last thing you complained about?”

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)

Read Exodus 16:2-15

  • The last two weeks, we saw mighty acts of deliverance by God on behalf of the Hebrew people. What do you imagine has taken place for the people now to be grumbling against Moses and Aaron (16:2)? [Six weeks in the wilderness and unsure of where the next meal would come from could make any of us hungry and scared.]
  • Why is it fitting for the manna to be given daily? [Reinforces the need for daily dependence.] How did God provide such that they could keep the Sabbath? Why was that so important? [It reinforces the need for rest and a time to reflect on God as provider.]
  • How is “manna” (or literally “what is it”) a fitting description for this bread-like substance? [It seemed to defy their expectations.] How can the question, “What is it that God is doing among us?” provide us nourishment on our journey?
  • If a friend asked you tomorrow, “What is God doing now?” how would you answer?
  • How can you express your gratitude this week for what God has done and is doing among us?

Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.

Sending Forth (2 minutes). Ask for a volunteer to lead the group in prayer or read the following prayer in unison:

Gracious God, we give you thanks for how you provide for us. Forgive us when we fail to see how you are at work and see only what is lacking. Equip us to be the people who display gratitude and generosity through our words and deeds. Amen.

In This Series...


Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes