Tuesday, October 24, 2006

John Calvin on the Lord's Prayer - Part 5

Give us today our daily bread.

"By this petition we ask generally all the things that are necessary to the indigence of our body under the elements of the world, not only concerning food and clothing, but all that which God knows to be useful to us, in order that we may eat our bread in peace. With these words (to say it briefly) we recommend ourselves to the providence of the Lord and entrust ourselves to his solicitude, in order that he may nourish us, maintain us, and preserve us. For this good Father does not regard it as unworthy to receive even our bodies in his custody and care, this in order to exercise our trust in him by means of these light and small things, so that we expect from him all our necessities, even to the last crumb of bread and one drop of water. now, as to asking our 'daily' bread and for 'today,' it means that we must not wish of it except what is necessary for our necessity and for living day by day. And we must have this trust that, when our Father shall have nourished us today, he will not fail us tomorrow either. Whatever abundance we may have at present, it is fit always to ask our daily bread, acknowledging that all actual possessions are nothing, except in so far as the Lord, by the infusion of his blessing on them, makes them prosper and come to profit, acknowledging also that the actual possessions that are in our hands are not ours except in so far as he dispenses to us their use at every hour, and distributes to us a portion of them. As to our calling this bread 'ours,' the goodness of God appears to be even greater; for that goodness makes to be ours that which was by no right due to us. Finally, our asking that it be given us signifies unto us that is a simple and free gift of God, from whatever source that bread may come, even though it seems to have been acquired by our industry." (Instruction in Faith, p. 62)


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