Posts tagged ‘Bread’

September 17, 2012

Give us this day our daily bread

Photo:  ‘The Alternative Bread Company’, English Market, Cork.  (Photo on Flickr here.)

It all started with a trip to the dentist. The week before he had warned me that for my next visit I was going to be sat in the chair for about an hour and a half.  With this not particularly welcome bit of news there was an up side – I had a few days to think about what I could do with my time in that chair.  My first thought was to listen to music via headphones but I needed to be able to hear what the dentist had to say so that was not an option. I eventually decided to try and (silently!) pray the Lord’s prayer instead, not just say it through a hundred times, but to pray it through once, spending time on each line, mulling the words over, what they meant, their implications and so on. Well I have to say that it was the best time I have ever spent in the dentists chair! With my mouth numbed because of the anesthetic and my eyes closed, I hardly noticed the horrendous drilling, filing and general carpentry going on in the workshop that was my mouth. Instead I found myself marveling at God ‘our Father’, with a name that was very ‘hallowed’, and so on. When I got to ‘thy kingdom come’, I felt like I could have gone on and on indefinitely; ‘thy kingdom come… into my life, Sonja’s life, our boys, then wider and wider outwards to, family, friends, neighbours, strangers, events and people in the news, even the dentist and his assistant!

Of all the lines, it was ‘give us this day our daily bread’, that I mulled over the most.  For so many people, poverty is a gruelling, grinding, daily reality; they do not have enough daily bread because people in wealthy countries (like me) have too much and hoard too much rather than give it away. I think it all ties in well with ‘thy kingdom come’; in many ways the advancement (or not) of God’s kingdom is in some ways entirely up to us (a scary thought).

When I got home I was looking for a book on the shelves in the study when my eyes caught another book altogether – I had completely forgotten about it and it is one that I have never read since picking it up at a second-hand stall a number of years ago.  It’s called “Praying the Lord’s Prayer” by Terry Virgo.  In the chapter entitled Give us today our daily bread, he writes:

If God’s highest gift is his Son, what’s his most basic gift?  Couldn’t it be ‘our daily bread’?  The two are extremes.  Surely God is telling us that if he’s willing to give us both the most precious and the most common things, he is more than wiling to supply us with everything in between.

Perhaps I realise now more than I ever did previously that EVERYTHING is a gift from God.  It is easy to see eternal life as a gift (for what else could it be?) But what about every breath, every heartbeat, every person with whom we come into contact, each and every day, each meal, indeed everything in this world and in this life that is good being a gift from God?  It is wonderful and liberating to know that none of the things I have are really mine anyway, they all belong to God, and I am learning (albeit slowly) that that really is the best way for it to be…

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March 18, 2010

Watching and Waiting

Nikon F100, Nikkor 28-105 f3.5-4.5 D, Ilford FP4 plus (ISO 125), (Click to enlarge)

We were putting out some old dried bread onto the bird table with the unmistakable feeling of being watched. I turned around and there they were, waiting for us to leave so that they could tuck in! Someone commenting on this picture on photo.net said it was like something out of a Hitchcock film, maybe the black and white makes it look a bit sinister but in reality it was quite funny – we weren’t attacked by them or anything.

Waiting patiently for things is not a forte of mine so maybe these birds have a lesson to teach me. Also I am reminded of some lovely words from Psalm 130

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.

I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

February 16, 2010

You can lead a horse to water…

New Forest Resident, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, England, 1987.
Pentax P50, Kodak Gold GB 200 ASA, Vivitar 28-70mm, (Click to enlarge)

Martin Luther once proclaimed:

“We are all mere beggars telling other beggars where to find bread.”

That’s certainly the way I feel, like a beggar – who am I to tell people about Jesus?! Looking at the readings for Ash Wednesday (especially the one from 2 Corinthians 5), I am staggered anew at why God uses us as “ambassadors” for Christ. I think we’d probably agree that most of the time we do not represent our country very well and the mantle of a beggar seems more appropriate.

And yet, we have found the bread, and somewhere at some time someone directed us to the place where we could find it, another beggar. And so now we are beggars trying to tell and convince other beggards where they may find this Bread.

All too often though, they are not interested. You can lead a horse to water… and just pray that he or she takes a drink. (Sorry to be mixing up the bread/water metaphor, but perhaps I’m in good company ;-)

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)