Give Us Today Our Daily Bread….
Give Us Today Our Daily Bread…. Mark 6:30-44
We know that germs, bacteria and viruses all existed in the time of Jesus, but most of the people living in that era were probably not aware of such things. Microbiology and modern science did not exist yet, so in the story of the feeding of the five thousand, the disciples were not wearing latex gloves as they distributed the bread to the crowds. They were not wearing hairnets and they might not have even washed their hands.
Good hygiene is not a lesson we learn from this story of the miraculous feeding. We know the kinds of precautions we need to take in handling food, and we need to abide by them, especially in this time of the coronavirus outbreak. But something we can learn from the feeding of the five thousand is to not let our fear of scarcity get in the way of sharing with others.
Jesus had been teaching the crowds, but it was getting late. The disciples wanted to send the crowds away so they could get some food. But when they approached Jesus he tells them, “You give them something to eat.” The disciples thought there was no way they had enough to feed all the people. They may have even been a little nervous and afraid that they could have a riot on their hands if the crowd got too hungry. They only have a few loaves of bread and some fish. It doesn’t seem like much, but when they let go of their fear and give it into the hands of Jesus, he is able to multiply it, so they all have enough.
This week we look at the part of the Lord’s prayer that says, “Give us today our daily bread.” Notice that we are praying give us today our daily bread. It is not my bread only for me. It is our bread, for us. There is an aspect of community in the prayer that Jesus teaches. God wants to provide for everyone.
As people today make a rush on items from hand sanitizer to toilet paper, this is a lesson we can learn from Jesus as we face this challenge of the coronavirus. If people let fear drive them to take more than they need, there will not be enough for all. But if we can stay calm and only take what is necessary, there will be enough for everyone. Can our faith in God help us keep this perspective in the midst of our anxiety?
-Pastor Erik Goehner