Reflections: July 14, 2021
Wednesday of the Sixth Week after Trinity
By Harrison Goodman
Give us this day our daily bread. (Small Catechism: Lord's Prayer, Fourth Petition)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. This petition, probably more than any others, drives us to prayer. We have daily needs we see going unmet. We somehow figure this petition is supposed to fix that if we just do it right. God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. If you don't pray, God still gives you daily bread. If you're evil, daily bread is for you. Prayer isn't currency. It's comfort.
God doesn't give everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body only to the well behaved or the ones who pray enough. He gives it to sinners, even unbelieving ones. Because Jesus loves sinners. He loves you. He even loves the sinners who don't believe yet. He loves them enough to die for them. A grilled cheese falls under the same banner of grace as forgiveness of sins. God won't deal with you according to what you deserve, but according to His love for you. He would give good gifts for your good. All of it is an undeserved gift.
And in this petition, He reminds us that it's okay to look in normal places for it. He gives daily bread through means. He could float said grilled cheese in front of you and make it glow in the dark. Instead, He gives you a grocery store. It's a freeing thing. Prayer isn't a way to make God work apart from means, but a reminder that He works through them, even fallen means. If God has promised to work through fallen sinners to provide daily bread to you, you can see and know that God is caring for you here. God doesn't need a sinless farmer to grow crops. He doesn't need sinless families to care for you. Yet this is exactly how God has promised to take care of you. He doesn't just do it for this life, but to drive you to the next. 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 766:5)
-Rev. Harrison Goodman is the pastor of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
He is also the content executive for Higher Things.
He is also the content executive for Higher Things.
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