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Powerful life lessons

22 May 2013

This is one of a series of weekly Christian reflections and prayers for the IF campaign that focuses on the theme of 'Our Daily Bread', with contributors from CAFOD, Tearfund and Christian Aid.

This week's reflection is a contribution from Tearfund.

men tending maize crop

 

I find it interesting that the Lord Jesus taught us powerful life lessons with just seven words: 'give us this day our daily bread'. The petition

  • gives us an expectation we should have from a loving Father and from life

  • expresses the duty of care that God has, to provide for his creation

  • encourages us that we should not be satisfied when there is no provision

  • demands that no one need go without

  • informs us that a daily supply is not only basic, but should be the norm for humanity

  • suggests that no bread means no life - bread is a staple for life and Jesus recognises that without our daily bread as sustenance, our quality of life is affected

  • is all-inclusive; it is an 'us' and 'we' and not an 'I' and 'me' situation - all must be provided for

  • points to the fact that there is plenty of bread around, which just has to get into the hands of the needy. If it were not so, God wouldn't raise our expectations. Let's therefore get rid of the things that stem the flow of supply

This prayer is a powerful statement of the intent and counsel of God. It sets out clearly that the God who has been known to send birds to feed a depressed and anxious man at a brook doesn't expect any human being to go without.

This petition is preceded with 'thy will be done on earth'. God is relying on his children to do his bidding upon the earth; that's why we are called servants of the Lord. Servants own nothing and do not pursue their own will or agenda.

Today, will you be God's servant and make sure his will is established on earth through you?

'How?' you may ask.

  • By making sure the expectations of both God and man are not cut off

  • By expressing how Jesus feels about humanity

  • By working to help ensure that the daily supply reaches those who need it

  • By sharing out your bread, fully confident there is more where that came from

  • By sustaining life; so do all you can to make sure it’s not crumbs, but bread. Crumbs are for beggars and rob people of their dignity; bread connotes a fundamental human right and an entitlement

  • By encouraging others to put pressure on governments to keep the supply lines open

The IF campaign is a voice of the masses crying out: 'Give us this day our daily bread!' As a result, let your voice be heard, let your hands provide, let your influence be felt. Impact your world.


Prayer

Lord, you are our Father
A loving parent who cares for us, your children.
Today, we are just a few of your many million precious children,
Help us to recognise and be sensitive to the needs of our brothers and sisters - all made in your image.
Hallowed be your name, not my name or any other.
May your justice and truth reign on this planet which is stricken with poverty.
When we ask for your kingdom to come, we do so laying all our resources at your feet.
As part of your church, help us to be obedient to your call, and in your name, to look after people in need.
Once again, give us your daily bread, and help us to share abundantly the plenty that we have been blessed with.
Amen.

Rev Celia Apeagyei-Collins, founder and CEO of the Rehoboth Foundation, council member for Churches in Communities International and a Tearfund Vice-President.

 


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ENOUGH FOOD FOR EVERYONE IF: join the campaign

 

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