“Give us today our daily bread.”
Our daily bread. I’ve been thinking a lot about this whole idea of daily provision, that God gives us what we need for this moment, not a shopping cart full of stuff for the next week.
I’m picturing my hands, empty palms up, open to receive God’s daily bread. This is a powerful image of vulnerability and need.
Yet, in truth my hands are rarely empty. More often my fingers are closed around false securities, my hands too full to receive God’s daily bread.
My hands grip those tasty crumbs of approval I got yesterday.
My hands cling to the bread of resentment as I nibble on it to feed my frustration.
My arms are filled with the illusions of self-sufficiency to ensure I don’t need to open my hands for help or provision.
My hands clutch my own sense of being right, the sweet bread of self-righteousness.
Or, sometimes my hands are filled to the brim with a sense of responsibility, racing from this commitment to the next, barely able to catch my breath much less pause to let God provide what I need. I’m busy!
My hands are so full of things I cling to that I cannot receive God’s daily bread. I must empty my hands, release the false bread that I feed on, become empty again and turn to the One who knows what I need.
Then Jesus, the living bread, the bread that lasts, can fill me up.
Give me this day the grace to let go of all my hands carry, so that I may receive your daily bread. Amen.
Dr. Amy Oden
Dr. Amy Oden is Visiting Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality at Saint Paul School of Theology at OCU. Teaching is her calling, and she looks forward to every day with students. Her latest book (Right Here, Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness, Abingdon Press, 2017) traces ancient mindfulness practice for Christians today.