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OUR DAILY "RATION"


 
 

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.


Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.


And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.


For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever.

Amen.

 

BIBLE READINGS

 

Psalm 104:27-30


27 These all look to you to give them their food in due season;

28 when you give to them, they gather it up;

when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;

when you take away their breath, they die

and return to their dust.

30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created;

and you renew the face of the ground.


Psalm 145:15-16 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. 16 You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.


Matthew 6:25-34 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?


27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.


30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.


33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.


 

OUR DAILY RATION

 

Today we are entering the second part of the Lord’s Prayer. The lin es of the prayer, or it's petitions we have looked at this week all have had to do with God. We have noticed that Prayer is, a God-centered discipline. Prayer is about centering our lives, our thoughts, our worship, in God, when we have our God-focus we are then ready to pray for our own needs. That makes sense doesn't it. We get our eyes on our Creator, "Our Father in Heaven" whose name we honor and "hallow", and for whose kingdom agenda we long to see unfold in out lives and in our world. When we have a clear view who it is we are praying to, then we can focus on our needs.


Let me insert here the lines of our catechism on this petition.


Q & A 125

Q. What does the fourth petition mean?


A. “Give us this day our daily bread” means:

Do take care of all our physical needs so that we come to know

that you are the only source of everything good, and that neither our work and worry nor your gifts can do us any good without your blessing.

And so help us to give up our trust in creatures and trust in you alone.


** NOTE: What follows is an excert from The Lord's Prayer: Going Deeper, by Leonard Vander Zee. Permission is granted to reprint this page for church use by Faith Alive Publications) *** When I read this section I found it challenging and insightful and I just wanted to share it with you today. ** Pastor Darrell


We are creatures with stomachs. Jesus teaches this prayer not to angels but to human beings, and it encompasses the experiences and the very real needs we face. Just as the first few petitions reshape our vision of God, the next petitions of the Lord’s Prayer reshape our understanding of our lives in this world. To grasp this reshaping—this converting power of the Lord’s Prayer—all we have to do is stop and think about the words: Give . . . us . . . daily bread.


Give


We are dependent. We have our hands out. In Psalm 145:15-16 the psalmist prays, “The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” We live daily out of God’s hand.


Of course, it often doesn’t feel that way. We work, go to the store, and buy our bread. It seems like it comes from us. And that’s why we need to learn to pray the Lord’s Prayer. Things are not as they seem here. In fact, we live our daily lives out of God’s gracious hand. We are deeply dependent creatures, every one of us. If the earth cools just a few degrees, the whole structure collapses, and famine comes. It’s sun and oxygen, it’s rain and crops, that sustain our lives.


In this prayer, “bread” not only means bread, or even food, but literally everything that human life requires. Bread, water, shelter, clothes—you name it. God does not want us to grab unthinkingly but to receive with gratitude. Life is given, not grabbed. It is received from God, not wrenched from the earth.


Us


What an important little word. We remarked about it already in the opening of the prayer, “Our Father.” Here it is again. Give us . . . Give me . . . How different they sound.


At the very beginning of the prayer, and all the way through, Jesus teaches us to use the pronoun our. In this way Jesus tells us that we are not praying this prayer in isolation. Whenever we pray this prayer, we are part of a community. While I pray alone in my room, I am joined by multimillionaires as well as farm laborers throughout the world. I pray with and for my dearest friends and my bitterest enemies. I am reminded to care for those who are discarded by society. When we call God our Father, we include all God’s beloved creatures in our embrace.


The plural “us” here invites us to reflect on a powerful truth. Whenever we pray the Lord’s Prayer meaningfully, we ask God to meet not only our own needs but also the needs of everyone else in the world. This prayer makes me feel the hunger pangs of the child in Botswana, the nausea of the woman who drank filthy water in Haiti, the misery of the homeless person downtown. This prayer weaves us together in a single human fabric. The bread we receive is also bread we share.


Daily


The word epiousios, translated as “daily” in our text, is a unique word in the Greek, but a recently discovered papyrus from fifth-century Egypt helps us understand what it means. The papyrus contains a list for daily rations for slaves, and it uses epiousios to mean “ration.” So we could translate the petition this way: “Give us today our ration of bread.”


Like Elijah waiting at the Kerith Ravine for ravens to bring his daily food (1 Kings 17:2-6), we live day to day in dependence on the one who gives us our daily bread. Jesus teaches this spirit of dependence when he says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink. . . .” (Matt. 6: 25). The Father, who cares for the ravens, will also give us what we need.


Now, this doesn’t mean we eliminate planning, or resource allocation. But it does mean that we live one day at time. We don’t run around thinking that our planning will supply our needs. Instead we have a deep understanding that we live each day with hands outstretched to our heavenly Father.

 

Dear God,

Give us this day our daily bread

Provide for us everything we need for today— we trust you that everything you provide is everything we need Fill us with the Bread of Heaven to satisfy our hungry souls. Amen.

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