Summary: Through the Lord's Prayer we are being called to a life of daily trust - are we satisfied enough to trust all that God provides?


Matthew 6:25-34

Are we satisfied?

Let me start with a poem.

Young Mother Quak went to the fridge

to get her children some dinner.

But when she got there, the fridge was bare

so the children she loved just got thinner.

We laugh because it is so silly. We also laugh because – really – how often would that actually happen?

Yes there are those days when our teenagers look in the fridge or the cupboard and say, “There is nothing to eat”. Well there is fruit. And there is bread. And there are plenty of vegetables. Actually there is a heap of food just not chocolate and chips.

And I think it is also fair to say that some in our congregation have experienced in the past what it means to have nothing. And to very much rely daily on the provision of God – and sometimes not seeing that provision.

But here, now, we are living in the “lucky country”. Some people might go without dinner, but the provision of food is rarely a real problem for today’s Australian household.

So that raises a question when it comes to the Lord’s Prayer, doesn’t it.

Our Father in heaven

Hallowed be Your Name

Your kingdom come

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven

Give us today our daily bread

Give us today our daily bread.

Is that a prayer we can really relate to?

Is that a prayer which has real significance for us?

Because our context is so different from the context when Jesus first taught the disciples this prayer.

In Jesus’ day the regular worker lived on a day-by-day basis.

The regular worker would get up and go to their regular workplace. At the end of the day your boss would give you a denarius – a day’s pay for a day’s work – and then you would go home.

If you were sick, and couldn’t go to work, you wouldn’t be paid.

If you had to be at one of the many feasts which the Jews held, you wouldn’t get paid.

If you went on strike you wouldn’t get paid.

The unions would have a field day if this was the way workers were treated … but that is how it was in the days of Jesus.

In Jesus’ day the casual worker lived on a day-by-day basis.

Those who didn’t have a regular job would go and sit in the market and hope someone would hire them for the day.

If you were sick, and couldn’t go to work, you wouldn’t be paid.

If there were too many other workers at the market, you might not get hired and you wouldn’t be paid.

If you were a bit old, or of smaller frame, you might not get hired and you wouldn’t get paid.

Life for many people was full of uncertainties, especially if you were a casual worker.

In Jesus’ day the elderly and invalids lived on a day-by-day basis.

There was no superannuation or government support and because most people lived from one day to the next there was little opportunity to save for the future.

So when you got to a stage in your life when you were too old to work, or when you suffered a serious injury, you would have to rely on the support of your extended family ... if you had any.

If that failed you would leave home early in the morning, find a place near the city gate, or at the entrance to the market, or near the temple if you were in Jerusalem … and you would beg. A most humiliating way to make money.

The life of an older person, or an invalid person, or a socially unwanted person was also full of uncertainties.

When the first century Palestinian Christians prayed Give us today our daily bread they really knew what it was like to live on a day by day basis.

A literal translation of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:11 says “our bread which is necessary for existence, give us today”.

Not an excess. Not enough for us to become obese. But just enough to exist.

Not a week’s worth, or even a couple of days’ worth. But just what we need for today.

In many ways it was a prayer of faith. As the family sat around the table in the morning the prayer would be offered.

Father, we look to You to provide enough for us to make it physically through the day. Lord, at the moment the shelves are empty, and so are our stomachs … we trust You will resolve this situation for us today. O God, our physical needs are before You, now please answer.

And then off you would go to work. Walking in faith. Trusting God to provide that which was necessary for existence for that particular day.

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