Bring the Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!” and a Cat in the Hat hat if you can
I’m very glad to see you today.
So today I want to talk about an ancient Hebrew word we’ll hear today in our story about Jesus and to do that, I brought this: show Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!
We’re not going to be able to read the entire book today so if you’ve never read it, I invite you to bug your parents to take you to the library so you can get your own copy and read it. It’s a book by Dr. Seuss who wrote all sorts of books, including The Cat in the Hat. Dr. Seuss was an artist and a writer and he loved making up words. Let’s look at a few made up words in this book.
Go through and find some of the made up words for creatures, etc. Share them and invite the kids to imagine what those words are.
When we read books, especially Dr. Seuss, we get to use our imagination. We get to paint pictures in our heads of amazing things that we’ve never seen before or maybe that don’t exist. We get to dream up…anything. And we get to look at this brand new thing we dreamed up, maybe draw it, and share it with our family and friends – and get them to look at it and ask “what is it?”
Today, in our story about Jesus and in our very first scripture reading, we’re going to hear about God feeding God’s people through something called manna. Manna is an ancient Hebrew word – so why don’t we learn it? Can you say manna with me? Manna! Very good. The story goes that God’s people, the Israelites, after they escaped slavery in Egypt were wandering around a desert for 40 years. And there’s not a lot of food that grows in the desert. They start to get hungry and they do what we all do when we’re hungry – they start to complain. God listens to their complaining and says “okay. I’m going to give you bread – bread of my own making. All you have to do is, in the morning, go away from your camp into the fields, and you’ll see bread…everywhere.”
So that’s what the Israelites do. They wake up, go out into the fields, and they see something they’ve never seen before. It doesn’t look like bread…but it’s everywhere. And they don’t have a name for it. So they think, and think, and think and decide to call what they see – Manna – which literally means “what is it?” And that’s what God feeds them – with this amazing substance that we call bread but is so strange and different and wonderful, we have no real word to describe it. Rather, it’s something that God gives us, that feeds us, and all we can say call it is “what is it” – because we have no words to really describe it.
In all our lives, there will be moments when God will show up to us in a way that we didn’t expect. It might be in a vision – where we see something amazing – or it might be in the way someone takes care of us. God might show up to us when a friend is kind to us or when a stranger just seems to say and do the exact thing we need to be safe and loved. God shows up in amazing ways – in ways we can’t alway understand – and in ways we can’t always explain. But when God does show up, we are fed – we feel full, feel love, feel like we matter. And God does that for us through Jesus Christ every single day.
So when that love shows up – when you feel God in your life – you might not know what to call it – but there’s an ancient word we can use when we encounter the indescribable love of God – and that’s manna.
Thank you for being here! And I hope you have a blessed week.
Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, 8/5/2018.