Making sourdough bread became a regular activity for my husband and children during the lockdown in the pandemic. I know we weren’t the only people who decided to make their bread. I’m not sure why bread-making became so popular. Perhaps it was because we had plenty of time to do things, or because it was harder to get to the store, to buy bread.

Whatever the reason, and wherever we are, bread is one of the world’s basic bodily sustenances. It has been so throughout history. 

The bread we buy now from the farmer’s market is from a bakery called “Bread-Alone.” I don’t know if the name is meant to have biblical connotations, but it reminds me of Jesus’ words when the devil tempted him to turn stones into bread. Jesus said: “‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4 NLT).

Bread is also a common topic in the Bible. 

Jesus took five small loaves of bread and multiplied them to feed thousands. (Matthew 14:15-21). Jesus chose bread to symbolize his body and said: “Take and eat; this is my body” (Matthew 26:26). 

Jesus also said: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:51). 

Jewish listeners during that time would have been reminded of the bread God provided from heaven when the people grumbled they were starving and missed the rich foods of Egypt: “I will rain down bread from heaven for you” God said (Exodus 16:4). The people named it “manna” (Exodus 16:31).

The “bread from heaven” appeared like thin flakes of frost on the ground after the dew had gone. At first the people didn’t know what it was until Moses told them it was the bread God had given them (Exodus 16:14-15).

If they trusted God’s instructions for gathering the manna, each person had just the right amount of bread needed for each day. 

Manna kept them alive and God provided it daily. 

So from bread during the pandemic lock-downs to Jesus’ words and desert wanderings, we come to the instruction to ask God in our prayers: “give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).

We are to pray asking for and trusting in God’s provision for our needs each day. 

We are to take what God gives us, trusting and not grumbling, that it is enough.

We are to ask believing that God can provide something where there is nothing.

We are to ask believing that God can multiply what we do have and provide more than enough.

We are to ask as we remember that Jesus, through his broken body like bread, provides a way to God and enables us to become children of God.

And then we are to ask, recognizing God’s provision as a gift. We are to remember that Jesus said: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? …If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

What do you need to ask God for today?


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