Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Daily What?

My husband and I have been married almost ten years this December, and dated four years before that. Fourteen years together--and yet, every once in awhile, my eyebrows will raise as I blurt out, "You never told me that before!" Whether it's a childhood story his mother relates to me or a letter to the editor I discover he had published, there is still mystery in our marriage.

While I may sometimes be deluded into thinking I can't be surprised by my husband, I am not under that illusion when it comes to Scripture. Instead, I'm well aware of the untold number of mysteries that abound within its pages.

Even still, I'm somehow always surprised when God pierces another hole through the dark glass, giving light to those more-than-common passages that mindlessly roll off my tongue.

The model prayer Jesus gave His disciples is a passage I could recite even with my twins "singing" off key at the top of their lungs: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread..." (Matt. 6:9-11).

This past week, I was divinely appointed to read these verses in conjunction with a passage from just two chapters earlier when Satan tempted Jesus. Overcoming one temptation, Jesus replied by quoting from the Old Testament (Deut. 8:3): "'It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'" (Matt. 4:4). In other words, physical bread isn't enough to sustain the soul (and body as well). Instead, we need the Word.

The disciple John stated first in his epistle that Jesus was the Word of God made flesh (Jn. 1:1). Then, I remembered Jesus saying, "I am the bread of life" (Jn. 6:35).

Jesus is the Word. Jesus is the bread of heaven.

I had always assumed that "our daily bread" in the model prayer was a request to the Father to take care of our physical needs. And I still believe that to be partly true. Yet, when I pulled out the concordance and started looking at all the New Testament verses about "bread," the term seems to also be referring to something more than just physical sustenance.

Since Jesus is our mediator to the Father, I wonder if the prayer isn't a request for Jesus as our daily bread, our daily Word from God, providing us with everything we need--both physical and spiritual.

In that case, I could just pray instead, "Give us this day our daily Jesus."

Yes. Give me my daily Jesus.

(And many thanks to my love for posting last week when I was in the land of no Internet.)

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