Feeding Others in the Lifeboat

Lou Lotz

READ : Isaiah 58:6-11

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry? (v. 7)

If you were adrift at sea in a lifeboat, with many passengers and only one loaf of bread, would you insist that the bread be shared equally? Nobody hogs the bread while others go hungry; everyone gets an equal share, right? Yet some of us in more affluent circumstances can feast every day on bread, thinking nothing of it, while other passengers in Lifeboat Earth are starving.

There are two little words in the Lord’s Prayer that we seldom think about—“us” and “our.” “Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus seems to be saying: Don’t be concerned only for yourself; remember that everybody needs bread.

As we noted earlier, the Lord’s Prayer has built into it a safeguard against selfishness. The Lord’s Prayer contains not a single “I,” “me,” or “my.” I can say the Lord’s Prayer by myself, but I cannot say it for myself. When we ask God to give “our” bread to “us,” we’re praying that everyone in the lifeboat has food to eat today.

We’re also obligating ourselves to do something about the problem of hunger. Our church has an on-site food pantry that serves hundreds of clients every month, and every other week we serve a hot, nutritious meal, with a side order of human dignity, to all comers. How might your church become more involved in feeding the undernourished passengers in the lifeboat? Can we really pray “Give us this day our daily bread” and remain uninvolved in the war on hunger?


The Lord’s Prayer