This Sunday we finish our sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. You can find all the previous sermons on the CPU website, http://www.cedarparkunited.org/category/sermons/. This Sunday we look at the deceptively simple petition ” Give us this day our daily bread.” Until reading John Dominic Crossan’s book on the Lord’s Prayer, I had not fully appreciated the radical nature of this request for daily bread. Jesus’ prayer petition for daily bread is set in the context of his own “mealtime ministry” which itself is set in the context of Roman policies of food taxation, where “daily bread” was anything but a certainty for most.
Crossan shows that Jesus’ repeated shared meals, in which he is seen repeatedly “taking, blessing, breaking and sharing” the food staples of the region, serve to remind everyone that the bounty of creation is God’s, given for the good of all, (rather than to be taken by Roman and given to a few). We see this clearly in the feeding of the multitude parable-miracle stories in all four Gospels, and most clearly in Mark’s first feeding narrative in Mark 6:32-46. While it has been a longstanding interpretive tradition to ‘spiritualize’ these stories, but in the fragile food security of first century Galilee, and 21st century global food crises, these stories are about real hunger. What is even more striking in Mark’s narrative is the way Jesus never takes away the responsibility of the disciples to respond to that hunger with what they have. It is by disciples -then and now – taking what we have, blessing it (acknowledging that it is a gift of a creative generous God, breaking and sharing, that the staples of the earth can be distributed equitably, for the common good, to the hungry.
In today’s sermon I invite Cedar Parkers to think of the ways in which we too already “take, bless, break and share” God’s gifts of daily bread in our ministries both within and beyond our wood and stone. AND, to imagine how Jesus is showing us new possibilities for living this very concrete, practical, petition in the Lord’s Prayer, to “Give us (i.e. all people), this day our daily bread.”
Use the comment box to share your insights, questions, proposals. I look forward to your responses!