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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 171

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From the Word: 1 Now in those days, when the disciples were growing, a grumbling of the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily assistance. 2 So the twelve mustered the majority of the disciples and said, “It is not suitable that we neglect the word of God to serve tables. 3 Now, brothers, choose seven of your men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, who we will appoint over this work. 4 But we will devoutly persevere in prayer, and in the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:1–4)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Fourth Petition

Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean?

God indeed gives daily bread to all, even unbelievers, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that he would help us to recognize this so that we would receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread?

Daily bread includes everything required to meet our earthly needs, such as food, drink, clothing, home, property, employment, necessities; devout parents, children, and communities; honest and faithful authorities, good government, seasonable weather, peace, health, an orderly society, a good reputation, true friends and neighbors, and the like.

Pulling It Together: From the early days of the church, there was concern for both spiritual and physical needs. When believers are hungry, the church must feed them. When they are thirsty, the church must provide them drink. The church, following the Lord’s directive (Matt 14:13–21; Mark 6:30–44), has always endeavored to meet the nutritional needs of the people. But there is more than physical food and drink, and the church must be doubly devoted to feeding the spirit. We need the Word of God every bit as much and more than we need physical sustenance (Deut 8:3; Matt 4:4; Luke 4:4). The spirit must be nourished; otherwise, we perish twice.

Prayer: Feed me, O Bread of heaven. Amen.

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