Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Unemployment is rising. The economy may or may not be recovering; it depends who you read. There is uncertainty about the future of our medical system. Wars rage around the world. Today I'd like to share with you a portion of Luther's thoughts about the 4th Petition (Give us this day our daily bread) from the Large Catechism:
To put it briefly, this petition includes everything that belongs to our entire life in this world, because it is only for its sake that we need daily bread. Now, our life requires not only food and clothing and other necessities for our body, but also peace and concord in our daily activities, associations, and situations of every sort with the people among whom we live and with whom we interact--in short, in everything that pertains to the regulation of both our domestic and our civil or political affairs. For where these two spheres are interfered with and prevented from functioning as they should, there the necessities of life are also interfered with, and life itself cannot be maintained for any length of time. Indeed, the greatest need of all is to pray for the civil authorities and the government, for it is chiefly through them that God provides us daily bread and all the comforts of this life. Although we have received from God all good things in abundance, we cannot retain any of them or enjoy them in security and happiness were he not to give us a stable, peaceful government. For where dissension, strife, and war prevail, there daily bread is already taken away or at least reduced.
(Very appropriate words for today's situation!)
(This next part is great!!)
It would therefore be fitting if the coat of arms of every upright prince were emblazoned with a loaf of bread instead of a lion or a wreath of rue, or if a loaf of bread were stamped on coins, in order to remind both princes and subjects that it is through the princes' office that we enjoy protection and peace and that without them we could neither eat nor preserve the precious gift of bread. Therefore, rulers are also worthy of all honor, and we are to render to them what we should and what we are able, as to those through whom we enjoy all our possessions in peace and quietness, because otherwise we could not keep a penny. Moreover, we should pray for them, that through them God may bestow on us still more blessings and good things.
Why try to restate what someone else has already said beautifully.
Let us pray for daily bread, and in that prayer, include all of our government officials, service men and women, and anyone else who works to provide the goods and services that we enjoy each and every day.
Praying for bread...Amen.