Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Lord’s Prayer: Bread

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.

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