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Introduction, Workshop 3: Manna in the Wilderness

In "Wisdom from the Hebrew Scriptures," a Tapestry of Faith program

There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, at no time, should go hungry. — Ed Asner, contemporary actor and activist

This workshop focuses on a story of the Hebrews after their Exodus from slavery in Egypt, during the forty year period when the people wandered in the desert wilderness before entering the Promised Land. The text reports that when the people became anxious because there was no food to eat, God delivered manna from heaven for them to make into bread for their daily use. We can imagine that the story was repeated and grew as generations retold the story of the wilderness journey, and how God delivered the food necessary for the Hebrew people to survive in a barren place. The story dwells on the idea that each person was provided with what food was needed to live, and nothing more.

Workshop participants consider how they might feel under those circumstances and ponder why this story continued to be told for centuries, until it was finally written down. Participants live into the story by remembering their own times of hunger (and complaining about being hungry!) They will touch and work with the basic ingredients of pita bread, which is similar to the bread the Hebrews lamented leaving behind in Egypt and examine coriander seed, which the Bible says is similar in appearance to manna.

This workshop continues a pattern of activities that frame all of the workshops in this program. Congregations may wish to establish their own patterns for this series of workshops, perhaps arranging for refreshments or a meal to precede or follow each workshop. Before leading this workshop, review the Accessibility Guidelines for Workshop Presenters found in the program Introduction and make any accommodations necessary for your group.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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