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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

03292017 - Wednesday of Lent 4 - “Give us our daily bread” – “God gives us our daily bread in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ!”

March 29, 2017
“Give us our daily bread” – “God gives us our daily bread in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ!”

How many of us have heard these words, “I’m hungry”, from our kids, grandkids or even our friends after a long day of hard work?  If you have or had children, that was probably the two most common words only minutes after you had left the table and been told, “I’m full”.  The hunger spoken of is a physical hunger.  Tonight as we continue our series on the Lord’s Prayer with “Give us our daily bread” Jesus is speaking of physical food, but also it can be connected to a spiritual food we receive as well.

This, the Fourth petition “Give us our daily bread”, is for both the physical and the spiritual gifts we receive from God of ‘daily bread’.  It might not be the choicest cut of meat, the best that money can buy, but what we receive we have the opportunity to give God thanks and praise for it, because it is God’s gift to us.  At its bedrock for us, is that we receive from God nourishment, no matter the amount or value with thanksgiving. 

This is the gift of the blessing that God gives unto us even without our asking for it.  In the explanation of the Lord’s Prayer, Martin Luther wrote, “God gives daily bread indeed without our prayer, also to all the wicked”.  So even those who are not following God’s plan, God’s desire, nor doing God’s Will, receive their ‘daily bread’ from God.  In one sense it is like the rain we received in the last few days, it is blessing everyone and will give everyone, both good and wicked, their ‘daily bread’.  For our God Who as we pray, “Give us our daily bread” is loving all mankind and wants to give all of mankind, even the wicked and those who have not heard the Good News of the Gospel, what is good for us, our ‘daily bread’.

Not only does God “Give us our daily bread”, but God like most who give gifts, whether small or large, would like us to receive it with ‘thanksgiving’.  This is both an attitude of gratitude, but also a posture of thanks not only in our words or actions, but especially in our hearts.  In this way we can properly give God the greatest thanks and praise for the gift of the food we eat that He gives unto us.  For God’s gifts have one intent in mind, to satisfy us and for us to give God the greatest thanks and praise.

Some in our world and even our culture will say, yes, we pray, “Give us our daily bread”, yet look no further than what fills our stomachs.  For not only does God give us what feeds and nourishes us from the fields and harvest, today, but God looks beyond the here and now to the eternal and the spiritual as well.  And the spiritual is exactly what we receive from the Altar.  For “God gives us our daily bread in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ!”  This is where the earthly comes into clear contact with the eternal and the mystical, where what we receive from God, not only our ‘daily bread’, but we also receive from the very altar of God, His gift given unto us of His Son, Jesus Christ.  We receive not only the sustenance of our bodies, but an eternal food that prepares our souls for entrance into God’s Holy Kingdom for eternity and the fulfillment of something that Adam and Eve heard, Abram was told would occur and even King David prophesied about in Holy Scripture that we are grafted into through our baptism.

Edward Koehler in his explanation of the Small Catechism says as we pray this petition, “Give us our daily bread” the following, we “pray to God and trust in His promise”.  The fulfillment of the promise is eternal life that we find in the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation, so that in the Holy Supper, instituted by Jesus Christ on Maundy Thursday, we receive this clear gift and fulfillment of this promise from God.  The gift of eternal life and the gifts of grace given out of God’s love for us demonstrated in what His Son Jesus Christ did for all of mankind on the Cross of Calvary.  We are partakers of this gift of grace, not only when we believe that “God gives us our daily bread in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ!”  But especially when we see the gift of His Son Jesus Christ through the lens of this gift that is offered from the altar as we pray the fourth petition taught by Jesus Christ, “Give us our daily bread”!  AMEN.

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