Reflections: Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 10, 2024 

Today’s Reading: The Lord’s Prayer – Fourth Petition

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 11:24-29, 12:1-16; Luke 17:20-37

What is the 4th petition of the Lord’s Prayer?  Give us this day our daily bread.  

What does this mean? 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.

What is meant by daily bread? 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. (Small Catechism, 4th Petition and explanation)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God is not interested in man’s soul only, but also man’s bodily life. The same God who sent His Son to save sinners also spoke Creation into existence. The same Father who gives His Holy Spirit also provides material needs. Lutherans call it all “daily bread.” Not that you’re going to eat shoes or weather, or slab some butter or jelly on faithful neighbors. These are also “daily bread,” just not that kind.  

Rather, everything good is given to you by God. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we pray that we realize this. But you probably don’t think of it. If you saw God at work every time He was sustaining your being, you’d be shocked. You probably wouldn’t be able to see anything else but God’s hand giving gifts. From your socks to your comb, even the guy cooking fries at the restaurant you ate at last Saturday, God’s hand is everywhere, on every vocation that’s not sinful and is everywhere, giving daily bread.

You don’t always realize this because God keeps Himself hidden. In this way, God works to keep saving faith in Christ living. God does not want us to rely on sight, but on faith in Christ and His saving death and resurrection and the Word that proclaims this. When we rely on our sight, we’re disappointed. That’s when we see some people having more than others, instead of trusting that God gives all people daily bread at the needed time. Relying on sight also leads us from trusting in God’s love when He withholds daily bread for a time. Yet, because Jesus has turned God’s heart to us by His innocent suffering and death, believers can be full of hope even when everything else fails. Even if it’s bad weather, or your shoes are stinky, or your government does shady things – God still gives you what you need. For He gives what you ultimately need- salvation through faith in His crucified and risen Son. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Heavenly Father, because you have such Fatherly love and mercy for those You have made, even sending us Your Son to die for our sins, teach us to always realize Your faithfulness to us. Amen.

– Pastor. Robert Mayes is the pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church and Zion St. John Lutheran Church in Beemer and Wisner, NE.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

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