Giving thanks for Daily Bread

Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated ... He did the same with the fish. John 6:11

"In comparison with the Great Depression of the 1930s," said Norman Vincent Peale, "the recent recessions are like Sunday school picnics." Many people went hungry then, joining long lines to soup kitchens. Someone with a light touch said, "We occasionally see signs: 'Keep off the grass.' In the Depression they read, 'Don't eat the grass.'" 

The multitudes that came to Jesus in an uninhabited area were told to sit down, for "there was plenty of grass in that place" (John 6:10). But the hungry people didn't have to eat the grass; Jesus had real food in mind for them. He satisfied the hunger of all by miraculously multiplying five small barley loaves and two small fish--a boy's lunch--into food for all.

During the Thanksgiving season we are especially mindful of, and thankful for, the daily bread God provides for us. And by "daily bread" we mean more than bread baked in ovens; we mean also clothing, housing, jobs, medical care, education, good government. God does not, as a rule, provide for us with gifts directly from heaven, like the manna of old. Nor are we fed in such a wonderful manner as Jesus used. Still, it is a miracle in a way that seeds grow into plants and trees yield food to eat. God is at work in nature for our benefit.

In a much larger sense God has provided for us spiritually. By the miracle of undeserved, divine grace He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Bread of Life. We live not by bread alone but also--and especially--by the Word of God which nourishes our souls and, in fact, our whole being. Jesus Christ is the personal Word. He is God's Son, very God of very God, who for us and for our salvation gave His life. In Him we live, move, and have our being. What grounds for thanks!

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God, for Your many blessings, and especially for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ, my Saviour. Amen.