11 March 2010

Small Catechism, Lord's Prayer, 4th Petition: A Reminder...

Give us today our daily bread.
What does this mean?

In fact, God gives daily bread without our prayer, even to all evil people, but we ask in this prayer that God cause us to recognize what our daily bread is and to receive it with thanksgiving.

What, then, does 'daily bread' mean?

Everything included in the necessities and nourishments for our bodies, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, farm, fields, livestock, money, property, an upright spouse, upright children, upright servants and members of the household, upright and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, decency, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors and the like.
Martin Luther's Small Catechism, trans. by Timothy Wengert
God provides...
  • We have cupboards filled with enough food and drink to last a good long while, even if the money dried up tomorrow.
  • I have several coats and enough clothes that picking out what to wear each day is sometimes time-consuming.
  • I have not one but two pairs of Dr. Marten's boots which have long since repaid the value of the high price I paid for them. I have running shoes. I even have biking shoes now.
  • There is a roof over our heads, and the reasonable assumption that, if need be, friends and family would provide a roof if we lose this one.
  • Not only is there a roof, but I have a yard in which I love to work when the weather is nice, and even when the weather is not-so-nice. I am the caretaker of things that grow here, and I take that job very seriously and derive a tremendous amount of joy from it.
  • I have no fields or cattle, but I remember when I did, and what a good life it can be. And, let's be frank, I like eating cattle. After butchering and cooking, of course, but still...
  • I am paid well for doing what I love to do. Not exceptionally well, mind you, but enough that we live comfortably.
  • We have what we need, and a little extra.
  • My Beloved is a wonderful woman. She is a loving wife, a devoted mother, a gifted youth minister and a caring friend. I need to remind her of these things more often.
  • I have two wonderful daughters who fill my life with joy. I can't imagine my life without them, and yet I still have to stop and pinch myself that, yes, they really are my daughters. I have kids. This never ceases to amaze me.
  • Servants? Not so much. But I do have a good office manager at work who is not only a good co-worker, but also a friend. Tonight, more than ever, I'm thankful for that trusting work relationship.
  • There are some good people working on our behalf in local, state and federal government. I wish there were more of the good ones, and less of the not so good ones, but there are good folks trying their best, and for that I'm thankful.
  • The snow is melting. Not too fast as of yet. Spring is finally coming.
  • I have never seen a violent crime in person. I have no reason to expect being the victim or a witness to such a crime. This town where we live is largely a safe community. The fact that I don't think about this more often probably says a lot about how insulated we are as a society, and how we take far too much for granted.
  • I'm not as fat as I once was, even if I'm not as "in shape" as I'd like to be. I exercise, and most nights I sleep well. Mild depression and being 20 lbs overweight is not anything about which I should complain.
  • People keep me accountable in my family, my work, and other areas of my life. Most of them do it appropriately. Most of the people with whom I associate value kindness, respect, integrity and honesty, and again, now more than ever, I am grateful.
  • I do my best to take everyone at their word, without judgment, and I think most of the folks I see regularly do the same.
  • I could list my good friends here and it would take up several paragraphs. I am richly blessed in the friends department.
  • H lets me borrow her snowblower when the weather's bad. A always says hello when she's out walking her dog. P's kids brought gifts when Alanna was born. B clears off our sidewalks if it snows while we're out of town. D pets the dog over the fence and always waves when she comes home. Maybe we're not as close to our neighbors as we'd like to be, but we know who they are all the same.
Why all of this? Because in the midst of trying times we do well to remind ourselves that God provides far more good than the world provides evil. Even though the hard road continues for us, we also have much for which we are thankful. God is good, all the time - even when God's people are sometimes not.

Grace & peace,

The picture above is our girls playing together last summer. The yard in which they are playing is ironically connected to the Unbloggableness, but it remains one of the most beautiful pictures we have of them.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure what the unbloggableness is but I hope it resolves quickly and easily. In the meantime thanks for the reminder of the good things.