"Give us this day, our daily bread!"
“The Fourth Petition
Give us today our daily bread.
What is this? Or What does this mean?
In fact, God gives daily bread without our prayer, even to all evil people, but we ask in this prayer that God causes us to recognize what our daily bread is and to receive it with thanksgiving.
What then does “daily bread” mean?
Everything included in the necessities and nourishment for our bodies, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, farm, fields, livestock, money, property, and upright spouse, upright children, upright members of the household, upright and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, decency, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.”
Luther’s small Catechism; Fourth Petition of Explanation of “The Lord’s Prayer” ELW p.1163-1164.
Greetings my sisters and brothers!
I am hoping that this reflection finds you doing well. I wanted to share a short story with you. The other day I was shopping in a local grocery store. As I imagine is the case for most of you reading this, grocery stores are not as “full” as they were three weeks ago. Many people seem to be buying in “bulk” and so many items that I am accustomed to purchasing are not present. If they are present, they are not in the same quantity that they once were.
I spoke to a person (six feet away from me) who was pulling a second cart behind them. I said to the person “you must have a very large family.” The person responded, “no, just me in my wife. I just want to make sure that when the grocery stores run out of food that her and I are taken care of.”
Our conversation ended politely, and I suppose you’ll have to “trust” me when I tell you I am not condemning this man’s actions, but this conversation got me to thinking about Luther and his explanation of the Lord’s prayer.
In my understanding, what is implied in the above words are that a child of God is called to “TRUST” that God will care for the daily necessities of life. True enough, I was not able to purchase the exact items that I desired on my trip to the grocery store, but I was able to find plenty of food for our daily sustenance. In this time of understandable shortages, I am keenly reminded that there are those within our population who do not have what they need for their daily sustenance. It is exactly at times like this that we, as “loving neighbors” should do our best to share what we have with those who are in need. It is at times like this that we would do well to take those items that we need and leave some for those who come after us.
In general, the people who are reading this reflection… we are truly blessed. We live in a time and a place where even during this pandemic our daily “sustenance” is not truly being threatened. Yet, at all times and in all places, we are called to love God, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Leave some food for our neighbors, be kind to one another and especially for those among us who are allowing the distribution networks to continue to bring us our “daily bread”. Pray for those among us who truly are in need, physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
TRUST GOD my friends, allow our trust in a Loving God of abundance to be a beacon for others in the world.
keep trusting God, keep washing those hands, and be at peace,