Sunday, March 15, 2009

Our Bread, Our Sins

Invitation to Prayer
A kingdom-of-heaven life consists of things to do and ways to think, but if there is no prayer at the center nothing lives. Prayer is the heart that pumps blood into all the words and acts. Prayer is not just one more thing in an inventory of elements that make up a following-Jesus, kingdom-of-heaven life. Prayer is the heart (Eugene Peterson, Tell it Slant, p. 167).

The Psalm (Psalm 8:1-5)
1 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

The Scripture Reading (Luke 11:3-4)
“. . . Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation."

For Reflection
The second part of the Lord’s Prayer turns to our needs, both physical and spiritual. God is faithful to give us what we need to survive each day. We are given bread for our bodies, and we are given forgiveness for our souls. Too long without bread and we grow weak. Too long without forgiveness and we grow calloused in our guilt.

Most of us plan to eat daily. Do we likewise feel the daily need for forgiveness?

Closing prayer
Our needs often make us anxious, O Lord: The bills that pile up, the babies we’re raising, the bread we need. We will trust you today, knowing that you will give exactly what we need in all things. We will give thanks today, recognizing that we live each day by your grace. Amen.

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