The term daily bread was the theme of our Bible study at church this week. It left me searching my Bible and the Lord’s Prayer section of my catechism to understand this concept further. I was struck by the lengthy list Luther wrote out in his explanation of the Fourth Petition –
Give us this day our daily bread.
What does this mean is no empty question and this list is also not accidental, I am sure. Anyone who has had to memorize this segment in their younger years can attest, most of the explanations are short by comparison.
Luther’s list includes:
anything to support the body
home (interestingly two different things)
a devout husband or wife
devout and faithful rulers
good weather (rain and shine, even snow!)
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has nothing on Luther.
Every single thing listed above and all the things left unlisted are gifts from God, what we call provision. He causes the sun to rise and set, our heart to beat, and gives the oxygen for our lungs. Without Him, we have nothing.
I belly-ache about things I don’t have all the time! I complain about stretching the grocery budget, or having to pay a doctor’s bill and God gently reminds me of something central to all of this:
Wow…we get paid for this.
So often in church work land we can lose site of the basic miracle that churches come together, by the grace of God. They pool funds, they build buildings, they create children’s programs, and they make ministry happen.
They pay for pastors, for teachers, for those they entrust to share the Gospel intentionally, everyday.
Do not lose the remarkable of this in the day to day of ministry.
This is perhaps most important when we feel devalued and unloved. God has provided daily bread, not just in the form of a paycheck. A paycheck, no matter how small, that says “We value what you do so much, we don’t want you to have to make tents. We want you to spend your time feeding us, filling us with Him.”
Churches, and the struggles you find there, have always existed throughout time, since that first Pentecost. That alone is a beautiful testament to God’s provision. In our culture, God takes it one step further. Some of us do this full-time. Some of us are worker priests or “part-time” church workers. While others of us are trying to figure out what “time” we are and what a fair wage is for that time. God is working in and through all of it with His daily bread and faithfulness.
Thank you Lord, for every little thing, every big thing, and every small miracle. Thank you for faithful people and your provision in Faithfulness when we are not. Thank you, Lord, for churches and paychecks, and tents to build and all of your goodness in plenty and in want. You, Lord, You are sufficient.
Join us in proclaiming God’s provision in our lives in the #dailybread challenge. For 2 weeks, add #dailybread in social media posts of people in your lives, places you go, and things you enjoy- recognizing every single thing in our lives comes from God.