Sermon for Lenten Midweek 4: “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

+ 4th Lenten Midweek – March 13th, 2024 +

4th Petition of the Lord’s Prayer

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

Milton, WA

 

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

 

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior + Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

I want to begin by telling you a short story about the 4th petition. I have a dear friend named Kevin. College roommate. Went to seminary together. He’d probably hate that I’m talking about him in a sermon, but he’s in Kansas and we’re here. Well… back in college days (though he still does this), Kevin would go to Trader Joes, pick up a few bottles of 2-buck Chuck and drop them off for various friends and coworkers on campus. He’d bring back a summer sausage and share it with me and our roommates. He was always collecting lost, orphaned books and giving them a new home on my shelf.

 

You probably all know, or at least I hope you know, someone like Kevin. Someone who loves to give.

 

And that is what we find here in the 4th petition of the Lord’s Prayer. Right in the center of the Lord’s Prayer – the exact middle petition. We pray, “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”.

 

And right there at the center of the Lord’s Prayer, in our prayer for daily bread, we also find the heart of God revealed for us. You see, God loves to give. It’s what he does. It’s who he is. God is the giver. God delights in giving. And when God gives, he gives graciously, abundantly. More than we deserve. More than we imagine. Always more. Just ask those crowds at the feeding of the 4,000 and at the 5,000 (plus many more). Or think back to the Exodus when the Lord told Moses…“I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day (Exod 16:4).

 

Luther reminds us of this in the catechism…God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

 

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145)

 

The 4th petition reminds us that God delights in giving. And all things are his to give. God is the giver of allthings. Everything we have, from the hair or the hat on top of your head (to the air above your head), right down to your socks, shoes, or sandals (and even the ground underneath)…everything around you, every day, all we have, it’s all a gift from God.

 

God delights in giving you daily bread. And he gives you daily bread in plain, ordinary, simple ways.

 

Luther teaches us about this in the catechism too. That daily bread is more than a loaf of sliced, multi-grain bread you buy or a sourdough you bake. Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

 

Don’t you love how down to earth Luther is. The 4th petition teaches us that the God who gives us daily bread does so in the earthly, ordinary, seemingly mundane, fleshly, physical, touchable, tangible, taste-able things. The God who delights in giving gives through means.

 

Take an ordinary peanut-butter jelly sandwich for example. Think about how many people and vocations and ordinary things God orchestrates to give you that delicious PBJ. The farmers and workers who plant and harvest the grain, the peanuts, and the fruit and all the other ingredients. Somewhere someone is making flour out of all that grain. Bakers make the bread. Some more folks make the jam and peanut butter, package it, load it onto a truck or train. Ship it to a distribution center, then to Safeway, Freddy’s, or wherever you shop. It’s unloaded. Shelves stocked. And then you, having gone about your many vocations with money in your account or wallet, walk into the store, buy it, take it home, and prepare it for a lunch or snack or picnic.

 

All of that and more is happening, even without our prayer, but we pray “Give us this day our daily bread” that we would look from the gifts to the giver with wonder and thanks. To God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – who delights in giving daily bread. And who does it in earthly, ordinary ways.

 

God certainly could zap that loaf of bread (and all our daily needs) right onto our table and into our lives simply by saying the word, “let there be.” And yet, God chooses to give us this day our daily bread – and all that entails – through means.

 

But don’t think that this is beneath God. The God who delights to give you daily bread doesn’t do so in some kind of spiritual, disembodied way. He does it the way he’s always done it. Through means. Through stuff of his creation. “God never meant us to be purely spiritual creatures. He created us soul and body. No wonder he uses material things like bnread and wine to give us his forgiveness life and salvation. No wonder he uses water to wash away our sin. Words to give us his promises. We may think all of this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He created it.

 

And he gives it all to you. “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”.

 

This 4th petition is something like God’s way of saying…“You want spirituality? Ok. I’ll give it to you. Here’s a pair of socks. Shoes. A jacket. Underwear. Toilet paper. A pound of thick-cut bacon. Some fresh farm eggs.” And the gifts just keep coming.

 

God delights in giving daily bread. He gives you what you need graciously, abundantly, daily. He takes care of these things – these little things of daily bread – all because he has taken care of the big thing.

 

The God who gives daily bread, also gave himself in the flesh. Here in his creation. In Jesus, God has plain, ordinary, skin and blood and bones. God has a certain eye color, hair color, height, weight, and sandal size. God delights in giving his life to save you.

 

And here again, God takes the stuff of his creation – tap water, a thin wafer of bread, some wine – and he gives you all that he has. He empties the storehouse of his forgiveness and never runs out of grace and mercy for you.

 

And if God takes care of the big things. Do not fear. He gave you your daily bread yesterday. Today. And he’ll do it again tomorrow. All by his grace.

 

Because God is the God who delights in giving you daily bread. He delights in giving it to you through means. And he delights to give you all his gifts of body and soul in Jesus.

 

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:19-20)

 

 

And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard and keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus to life everlasting. Amen.

 

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
8:30am-12:30pm

By appointment only June and July

Contact

Address
2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
Phone
(253) 922-6977
Fax
(253) 922-6977