[Inspiration for these reflections are adapted from PAUSES FOR LENT: 40 Words for 40 Days, Copyright © 2015 by Rev. Trevor Hudson by Upper Room Books Nashville. Both the selected Scripture and theme and initial paragraph in quotes are from Hudson.]
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
“In the prayer that Jesus teaches his disciples, he invites them to ask for daily bread. This request points us toward our utter dependence on God for sustaining our lives. This phrase emphasizes God’s provision—God offers us what we really need on a daily basis,” (Trevor).
I don’t know about you but I love bread. I’ve enjoyed in the past walking the streets of Jerusalem and buying bread from the street vendors. The bread they sell is much to large for just one person. It’s covered with sesame seeds and comes with a bag of spice which is to die for. I eat way to much as I am walking where Jesus once walked.
Jesus refers to himself as the bread of life. In John 6.35 he says, ”“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” What does it mean for Jesus to be the bread of life and why would he encourage us to pray for daily bread in our lives?
God is sustainer, provider, author of our existence. We walk around with fully functioning bodies (most of us 🙂 – hearts beating, limbs moving, oxygen moving through our blood stream — yet fail to thank the One who made all of this possible. Jesus knew and understood when he prayed, “Give us our daily bread.” He understood that life without God is not only meaningless but maligned.
Not only does God provide our daily needs, he promises to satisfy our deepest desires. The hunger and thirst God quenches isn’t simply material. The soul sustenance he offers is eternally full of hope and purpose. When Jesus prays the prayer to the Father, he’s asking God not to simply help him maintain his health but to dwell with God in a delicate dance of delight.
God wants more from us than our meager existence and casual recognition of his presence, he wants a sold out servant seeking to live into the fullness of his purpose an destiny.
The struggle I face is remembering this each day. Too seldom I hurry through work to move on to rest, and I don’t take time to reflect upon the goodness of God, his provision in my life, and the hope he’s granted me through salvation in the Son.
Will you join me in leaning into God today? Will you find strength in his arms, grace in his words and joy in his promises?
“O Lord God, you are my provider, my healer and my shield. You protect me when I am weak, you use me to communicate your word, you bless me by your presence. Come now, Holy Spirit, have your way with this humble human. Help me find my way into holiness and so to give more of myself to your eternal care. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen