Church of England Diocese of Leicester Burbage with Aston Flamville

Thought for the day - Tuesday 26th May

26 May 2020, 2:30 p.m.

Thought for the Day

Thy Kingdom Come Season

No. 5. Give us this day our Daily Bread.

Does this phrase mean literally what it says?

For some people, in some places around our world today it most probably does, think about that for a moment….

Repeat the phrase: ‘Give us today our daily bread.’

As is so often the case with this and other prayers they are so inculcated within us, their meaning fades from us at times.

This season of Thy Kingdom Come helps us to regain, to ponder again the power that is within these simple and most holy words.

Jesus teaches us to pray that God would give us daily bread Matthew 6:11. Obviously Jesus was not telling His disciples to pray only for bread. But bread was and still is a staple in people’s diets; bread for the Hebrew people was a powerful symbol of God’s provision for His people in the Old Testament.

We remember how God cared for the Israelites when they were in the wilderness after their exodus from Egypt. Life in the wilderness was hard, and soon the people began to complain that it would be better to be back in Egypt, where they had wonderful food to eat (or so they believed, our memory does play tricks on us from time to time, remember the ‘Good ole Days’).

When the Israelites were first fed with manna they were in the Desert of Sin, located on the western side of the Sinai Peninsula. The Israelites left Egypt about one month earlier and were traveling 10 – 15 miles per day. In the desert of Sin the “whole community” grumbled against Moses and Aaron because there was not enough food to eat. The grumbling included Exodus 16:3:

• ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt.’

• ‘In Egypt we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted.’

• ‘You have brought us out into this desert to starve the entire assembly to death.’

Clearly, the Israelites were romanticising their time as slave labourers in Egypt. The primary foods for slaves were grain, beer, and vegetables such as onions, leeks, cucumbers, and melons. The poor and slaves were permitted to eat fish caught from the Nile River. Rarely, if ever, did Egyptians give meat, e.g., beef or lamb, to slaves. Meat was reserved for very wealthy Egyptians.

Responding to these complaints, God promised to “rain bread from heaven” Ex. 16:4. The next morning, when the dew lifted, there remained behind on the ground “a small round substance, as fine as frost… . It was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey” (vv. 14, 31). When God miraculously fed His people from heaven, he did so by giving them bread.

Likewise, we take comfort in knowing that our physical needs are met, that we have food, or “bread,” for our needs.

This petition of the Lord’s Prayer, teaches us to come to God in a spirit of humble dependence, asking Him to provide what we need and to sustain us from day to day. We are not given license to ask for great riches, but we are encouraged to make our needs known to Him, trusting that He will provide.

If we find that God’s hand seems to be invisible to us and that we cannot discern His presence or providence in our lives, that may be due partly to the way we pray.

We have a tendency to pray in general.

“Lord bless me and my family”

When we pray in general, the only way we will see the hand of God’s providence is in general.

As we enter into this season of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ we have been asked to focus our prayers for 5 other people.

Write there names out, place them in your prayerful place and pray that God works in their lives.

This conversation and communion with God is specific, your petition before Him is focused and direct. Im sure God will welcome that, He is interested in our lives and that of our loved ones, more than we know, or imagine. By pouring out our souls and our needs specifically, we see specific answers to our prayers. Our Father has invited us to go to Him and ask Him for our daily bread. He will not fail to provide it, remember to ask.

Fr Andrew