I am a Lutheran Pastor offering reflections on what it means to be faithful in a changing world.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Daily Bread

From Luther's Small Catechism:

The Fourth Petition

Give us today our daily bread. 

What is this?  or What does this mean?

In fact, God gives daily bread without our prayer, even to all evil people, but we ask in this prayer that God cause us to recognize what our daily bred is and to recieve it with thanksgiving. 

I have said the Lord's prayer many many many times and still lack a full of appreciation for what it means for God provides bread for me daily.

In large part it is due to the fact that I have been blessed with an abundance throughout my life.  Even with taking the "unofficial" vow of poverty by becoming a Lutheran Seminarian I have still been given more than the daily bread that God has promised me each day. 

Salem is in inner city Toledo and there are many that are poor.  Yet many give thanks for what they have and they put me to shame in just how much they can give with what little they have. 

After Worship one day a gentleman had come up to me for conversation.  He said that just the other day he had no food for either him or his daughter and he called his sister up and cried with her on the phone about his dilema.  They ended the phone conversation by praying the Lord's Prayer.  Soon after he recieved a bag of apples and orange juice.  He openly admitted that he would have preferred a bottle of pop and a bag of chips but he acknowledged and gave thanks that God had given him what he needed. 

A few days later I was doing a hospital visit.  As I was about to annoint the patient with oil a nurse walked in and asked what I was doing.  When I explained she asked if she could be blessed next.  I gladly said yes and did.  Then she said that she blesses herself every morning before she goes to work but didn't have time today and felt that God had said that it would be okay, he would send someone to bless her. 

I am always in awe that I could be an instrument of God in anyway but in being that instrument whether it be lending an ear to listen to a persons thanksgiving for literal food or being able to provide a piece of someone's daily bread by offering a blessing and prayer, God has spoken to me through that, and reminds me of all that I have and can give. 

I continue to fall short from time to time but I pray and give with thanksgivng for all that God has given me.  The tempation I have is for God to bless me for what I am giving (that heretical prosperity gospel). 

The poor have humbled me, they have shared with me the Good News that God has given me much even without my asking and will continue to do so. 

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