Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Manna in the desert

Give out an image:

Give out a thought:
At the end of last week we looked at how the sabbath has economic, agricultural and social aspects to its institution. One of the stories that would be at the forefront of the Israelites imagination when receiving the commandment to honour the sabbath would be the miraculous provision of manna in the desert (exodus 16). Commenting on this, Ched Myers writes:

The "instructions" in the narrative give s the three defining characteristics of this alternative economic practice. First, every family is told to gather just enough bread for their needs. In contrast to Israel's Egyptian condition of deprivation, here everyone has enough... In God's economy there is such a thing as "too much" and "too little". Second, this bread should not be "stored up". Wealth and power in Egypt was defined by surplus accumulation... The Bible understands that dominant civilizations exert centripetal force, drawing labour, resources and wealth into greater and greater concentrations of idolatrous power. So Israel is enjoined to keep wealth circulating through strategies of redistribution, not concentrating through strategies of accumulation. The third instruction introduces Sabbath discipline... We Christians regard the Sabbath as best as one of the Ten Commandments, at worst as a quaint Jewish custom. But here we say that it is instituted even before the Covenant at Sinai. 
Give out an action:
Organise a swap day - perhaps at the office get everyone to bring in something they would be willing to give a way and swap with something else. 

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