When I was first asked to write this reflection I thought it was great that I had until well after Easter to do it. ‘I’ve got loads of time to write it,’ I thought. But as I began to think about it over the last few days, I read a lot of the other great reflections, and it dawned on me that they’ve already used a lot of the good ideas! I didn’t know what to write that wouldn’t just be repetition, and I couldn’t think of any relevant little bits of theology to share that hadn’t already been shared.
It then struck me that I should simply think of ‘my daily bread’. What has been my daily bread today?
Well I haven’t actually had any bread today, but I have had a stir fry, crisps, some salami and some SPAM (don’t ask). The stir fry I ate today was a free sample given to me in a train station by a big oriental food brand. As I was making and eating it I started thinking, ‘this is great! I should do it more often!’ What I didn’t realise at first was that I’d fallen for their marketing ploy – they were giving them out in the hope I’d do exactly that. If I hadn’t caught myself I could well have done this more often, spending more money on a very complicated branded meal, completely unnecessarily.
The more I thought about this, the more I realised that this same thing had happened in other areas of my life, my clothes were getting more expensive and the shops I was buying them from were more ‘upmarket’ and my phone was getting more expensive, bigger and becoming cleverer than I am!
There’s something about Jesus’ phrase ‘my daily bread’ that speaks of simplicity.
We can choose to do without the fuss, without the complexity because when we do, we stand closer to those in the global south who have no choice but to live on bread alone; we stand in solidarity with those among us who struggle to get hold of enough food for their family.
When we read the Lord’s prayer now I think we can do so in part as a challenge, a challenge to live more simply. For me this will be a great thing to take from the IF campaign, as for it to have
the most impact possible it shouldn’t only move the G8, but move our own hearts and maybe even our stomachs too.
I was asked to write a reflection for the IF Campaign on the theme of ‘Our Daily Bread’. This reflection was published on the Enough Food For Everyone website here, and sits along sides reflections from Rowan Williams and John Battle MP.