President’s Reflections – June/July 2022

“Give us this day (today) our daily bread” is the fourth of the seven petitions in the Lord’s Prayer. You may recall being taught in Sunday school or confirmation lessons that the first three address God, the second four are prayers related to our needs and concerns. We need God in all areas of our life (physical, spiritual, and mental), daily. We need to come back to God regularly, indeed each day – for we can quickly become independent and self-seeking. Jesus reiterates this daily dependency when he exhorts us to not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. (Matthew 6:34 NIV)

In relation to bread for our physical needs, my thoughts go back to my childhood when the baker, from a nearby town, would make his round, once or twice a week, and deliver bread to us. If no-one was home, there was a pre-arranged spot to leave the fresh hi-top loaves, away from access by cats and other animals, and no doubt, some coins left as payment. On occasions, when the school bus dropped us at the front gate, finding that fresh dough inside of the loaf was tempting. Times have changed for most of us. We travel more readily and often, or may buy in bulk and freeze, and of course, “breadmaker” appliances have seen bread more easily made at home. When assisting in the cookery section of our local show, there were loaves of varied textures, and it’s interesting to see the added ingredients chosen by the maker to enhance that entry in the “any other bread” class.

Perhaps you have a colourful plaque on a wall in your kitchen with the words: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread – placed there because we associate bread with a meal, and as a reminder that God will give us what we need for the day ahead.

We read many places in the Bible where God wants us to take life one day at a time, and our experiences living with the pandemic, remind us even more of this fact.

In Matthew 6:11, Jesus spoke to the disciples and referred to daily bread, as “manna from heaven”, sent by God each day to meet the needs of the Israelites as they wandered in the desert. That the God of Israel would provide daily food for them was confirmation that he was watching over them and guiding their life both physically and spiritually. In Exodus 16:4,5 (NIV), The Lord said to Moses, “I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way, I will test them, and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days”. There was also the reminder that too much gathered or hoarded, would spoil. He wanted them to have confidence, show their trust, that there would be just enough for one day and he would rain down more.

Listen! The words in this petition are plural: Give US this day OUR daily bread. We don’t pray only for our own bread, but for bread for those who have none. As people longing to maintain right relationships with others, we take others’ need of bread into consideration: we share what we have with those who have need. 

Hear again the sustaining words: Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”. John 6:35

May God’s blessings be yours today.

About the Author

Grace Kroehn

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