This is the third article of a five part series on the Lord’s Prayer.
“Give us this day our daily bread,” is
the central part of the Lord’s Prayer. Central in terms of its location in the
prayer and perhaps central in terms of the need it addresses. Bread, in any
Christian prayer, is easily connected to the Holy Eucharist, the bread that
becomes the Body of Christ, and communion with God.
Obviously, Jesus gives us this prayer
before the resurrection, before he’s arrested and put to death. It seems
unlikely therefore, that it’s the bread of the Eucharist that’s meant. One
translation of the verse of scripture is, “give us today, tomorrow’s bread.”
It’s an apt translation because it gets at what’s probably the point of this
petition. The petition is for freedom from worrying today about where our next
meal will come from.
Often Bread is used as a metaphor for
the stuff we need for life, for survival. Bread can mean: food, clothing and
shelter – the basics of human need. Bread might even be extended to: safety,
health care, educational opportunities and worship.
In any event, I don’t see that God has
opened a grocery store… or, maybe God has opened a grocery and owns every
crop-field, grazing-field and shoal. The fact is that there is enough food
produced annually in the world to feed every living creature. The problem is
with distribution… and that’s the department God left us in charge of. Oh, maybe
that’s God’s will; that we take care of one another; that we love one another.