Matthew 6: 11
“Give us this day our daily bread”
According to the United Nations Food Security report of 2021, between 700 and 800 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020. While an estimated 22% of children under 5 were stunted (too short for their age), 6.7% were wasted (too thin for their height), and at the same time 5.7% were overweight.
Nearly one in 10 people in the world go to bed hungry each night.
When Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35), it was not merely a metaphor. He promises to provide for those who would believe in Him (John 5:36). The regular provision of our collective “daily bread” (Matthew 6:11, Luke 11:3) is a promise of sustenance as part of the life in all fulness that Jesus imparts to those who follow Him (John 10:10) and remain in Him (John 15:4, Philemon 1:6). This promise is as real today as the day Jesus fed the 5,000 with five loves and two fish (Matthew 14:15-21 etc.).
God provides (Psalm 107:9, 147:14), but a new covenant rendering of the Deuteronomic principle (e.g. Deuteronomy 6:3) applies here: the promise is contingent on obedience—to Christ. The promise of provision under the new covenant is to the Christ-centred community of God’s people. Yet, as God supplies so we are obligated to share, not just with one another but with our neighbours in need.
In our new covenant shalom reality, Christ-followers are empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfil God’s injunction through Isaiah 58:6-14, which includes “Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them…” (Isaiah 58:7). Generously sharing God’s provision to us with those in need in wider society is a beacon of God’s light in a world grappling with darkness (Isaiah 55:1-3).
Give us this day our daily bread is a communal prayer. I do not pray for myself and my family, I pray for my whole community. And so, it is also a call to action.
“For those who are hungry, we pray for food, and for those who have food we pray for a hunger for justice”
Adapted from the Bible and SDGS