Food is intended to anchor our thoughts in a few essential things. First off it reminds us that we are creatures. We are not self-sufficient like our Creator. We are dependent by nature. We must have food to go on living this life. Secondly, as dependent creatures we receive our sustenance from the Creator on a daily basis. Food is pointing us to God, every day. The Lord’s Prayer is very insightful here. This prayer, taught by Christ to the disciples, is a compass for the disciple. It teaches him concentric priorities for life and prayer. The disciple is encouraged to make the thrust of this prayer his own, every day, so as to find true north as he engages the daily tasks before him.
In the prayer, as you well know, we read the petition for daily sustenance. In Matthew’s version it reads: “give us this day our daily bread (6:11).” In Luke’s version we have, “give us each day our daily bread (11:3).” Note the emphasis in both gospels on the dailiness of the bread. This is clearly a daily need that requires a daily request that results in a daily provision. The dinner table, the drive through window, the grocery store, the oven, the waitress, they are all calling on us to slow down and enjoy a daily gift.
In Ecclesiastes there is a wonderful refrain written throughout the book. In the face of confusion, vanity, and the uncertainty of tomorrow the author commends the full enjoyment of daily provision. For example he says, “a person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God (2:4).” The uncertainty of tomorrow calls for the full engagement of the present. The daily bread is what we currently have in front of us and we are invited to enjoy, fully, without concern for tomorrow. The anxiety of tomorrow robs us of entering into the provision of today. Every morsel of bread is an invitation to come into the moment, embrace our creatureliness, and give thanks to our Creator.