August 5th, 2018
Exodus 16:2-4; 9-15
“The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness,” our Exodus reading begins. It can be helpful for us to remember these moments—both the Old Testament and the New show us suspicious people, untrusting people. Perhaps there was an earlier instantiation of QAnon amongst our ancient brethren, disseminating cryptic messages amongst the people. “Moses lived in Pharaoh’s house—what does that mean about our journey? Why does Aaron do all the talking? Figure it out and see the legacy of the deep state!” The providence of God often seems suspicious. Or, perhaps more likely, people are so often disappointed by promises, they are suspicious of any good thing, any good possibility. “If only God had killed us in Egypt!” the people say. “What sign are you performing, Jesus—sure you gave us bread from five loaves and two fish. But God gave our ancestors bread from heaven! Are you who you really say you are? Can’t you do something better?” Underneath these questions is a simpler one: how can we trust you? We like to find dark and evil motives, because we will never be disappointed if we look for them in human beings. Suspicion always finds what it seeks, because the world is full of failed human beings. When trust reaches out, it finds only slippery hands at best, and more often empty air.