Today’s Reading: Small Catechism: Fourth Petition of the Lord’ s Prayer
Give us this day our daily bread. (Small Catechism: Fourth Petition of the Lord’ s Prayer)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Luther’s explanation says, “God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people.” If that’s true, then why do we need to pray for it? If our praying doesn’t earn our daily bread, then why pray at all?
Luther’s list of the things included in “daily bread” are the very things we spend our lives trying to get. Our lives are filled with anxious work and worry because we think our daily bread depends on our own efforts. Look at Luther’s list and consider how much of your life is filled with the pursuit of these things: “Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.”
We need to pray for daily bread so that we might be set free from our worry and anxious labor. We need to “realize this,” that God is the source of our daily bread, and to confess this with our mouth by asking Him for what He has promised to give. In so doing, we will receive our daily bread—not as something we have earned, but as a gift from God—”with thanksgiving.”
For we do have such a gracious God who can be trusted to provide. After all, has He not already given us the far greater gift of salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ? “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:7–11)
-Rev. Jeffrey Ware is pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.