Lord, give us today our daily bread … daily bread…not weekly, not over-abundance, but daily: what we need to sustain us in You today.
A couple of years ago I began baking the bread that my family eats for sandwiches and toast. The repeated process of kneading the dough, waiting for the yeast to rise, smelling the welcome aroma of freshly baked golden loaves, and snacking on warm slices fresh from the oven has become a time of prayerful reflection for me. My context is quite different from the world and context in which Jesus taught the prayer, “Give us today our daily bread.” My day carries on while I knead the dough. Sometimes my children want to help knead their own small loaf, other times they are playing in another room, or throwing sand outside. Still, in this task I can center in Christ, both the physical and soul food for today. My daily bread.
Simply today Lord, sustain me today.
On bread day at my house, I prepare enough bread to last for a week or two (thank you, freezer). But for the people in Jesus’ world, bread-making would have been a daily task. They didn’t have the choice to wait until tomorrow to make bread and plan a breadless meal for the family today. Bread was not just an addition to a meal, but a core piece of it. Each day required a set time to prepare the daily bread.
Lord, let me orient my daily routine around you. Be my Daily Bread.
I imagine that making one’s daily bread in Jesus’ day would have been even more of a process than it is for me today. The flour itself may have needed to be ground and prepared before it could be used. It is possible that the family may have even grown the grains for the flour themselves. The oven was not propane or electric, but a fire that required tending to keep the embers glowing and the fuel needed to be gathered. Bread really did fill stomachs and supply what was needed.
As I shape the risen dough into loaves, I center even more on this phrase in the prayer, “Lord, give us today our daily bread.” Jesus does not ask for a week’s worth of sustenance nor a rounded pot-roast meal complete with the meat, potatoes, and carrots.
LORD, be the core of my sustenance today.
Amen, may it be so.
This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)