Reflections: June 17, 2020
Wednesday of the First Week after Trinity
By Alexander Lange
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Why do we pray for daily bread? Because God is the Creator. He makes all material things. Because food, drink, house, clothing, money, and other possessions are good. God said so Himself (Genesis 1). Because God loves us and wants to give us good things. Since you were baptized, you are God's child. If evil fathers give good gifts to their children, won't your good Father give you even more? (Matthew 7:11)
That being said, we should remember to ask for daily bread. Our Lord tells us to pray for what we need for today. God doesn't guarantee that we will have a super-abundance of wealth – and that's probably not a bad thing. Food, clothes, money, and possessions are good, but we abuse good gifts. We are tempted to turn such stuff into our gods. Instead of seeking our worth, our security, and our happiness in the Lord, we depend on our wealth.
Wealth is a nice gift, but a terrible god. It cannot give you worth, keep you safe, or guarantee happiness. Once you make it your god, you turn your back on the One who can give you worth, who can save you, and who can give you eternal bliss.
Yes, real poverty is a bad thing. It can cause real suffering and death. However, greed that leads to idolatry is even worse. It leads to eternal death. Thus, Proverbs gives us this prayer: "Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, 'Who is the Lord?' or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God" (Proverbs 30:8-9).
May God give us our daily bread, and may He forgive us when we treat wealth as our god. May He bless us for the sake of the crucified and risen Christ. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Give us this day our daily bread, And let us all be clothed and fed. Save us from hardship, war, and strife; In plague and famine, spare our life, That we in honest peace may live, To care and greed no entrance give. ("Our Father, Who from Heaven Above" LSB 766, st. 5)
- Rev. Alexander Lange is pastor of Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.
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