Friday, November 07, 2008

4 Minute Devotions: Baker's Van

Sometimes, when I pray "Give us our daily bread," it reminds me of a Scottish baker I once knew.

Podcast version here

Matthew 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.

Every day, around 10.30AM, the bread man used to arrive in our street. He drove a large van that had a walk-in counter at the back. He tooted his horn twice and everyone in our street knew that he had arrived. During the summer, when I was on holiday from school, my mom usually gave me a note, written on the corner of an old envelope, with our order: one plain loaf and a packet of potato scones.

As I entered the baker’s van, I could smell the beautiful aroma of freshly baked bread, sugared donuts, and buttered scones. The shelves were full of different breads and cakes, as well as various candies and chocolates. It looked absolutely heavenly to me, and I often wished that my parents had the money to buy the whole van.

The baker was a tall bearded man with a cheery smile. He took my mom’s list and placed the goods on the counter. He knew that we didn’t have much money, but he always treated us as if we were the most important customers on his route. He asked how my mom was doing and then he checked our items in his credit book. We always settled up at the end of the week when my father was paid.

On Saturday mornings, I would take another list, on the corner of an old envelope, with the money that we owed the baker. I felt important as I handed him over the money and received the change. He would hand me the plain loaf and potato scones, and then he would smile as he added in a few donuts to the package. This was Saturday, when our family had money!

Sometimes, when I’m praying the Lord’s Prayer, I remember those days of the Scottish baker when I say the words: ‘give us our daily bread.’ It reminds me that God’s grace is something that we all get on credit. At the end of our lives, we can never repay what we owe to God, which is when Christ steps in to pay the ransom for our souls. And just when we think that would be enough, He adds something sweeter to the whole divine package: everlasting life.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your love and grace through which our lives are truly blessed. We depend upon You each day to guide and lead us, comfort and sustain us. You are our Daily Bread and the Bread of Eternal Life. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.


Wes said...

Excellent illustration. Well done, John, well done.

Now you may delete this instead of posting (I don't mind), but how about the troublesome Reformed doctrine of double predestination? When that baker van just passes by hungry people and doesn't honk his horn because he just doesn't feel like it?

Don't know why I am playing devil's advocate today. A friend in seminary who sat next to me always did that to me an I made him a sign in theology class that said "Heretic" and placed in front of him.

But I know you will come up with a wonderful and insightful response other than our Reformed "easy button" response in seminary... Sovereignty of God.

Stushie said...

Ah, but he did honk his horn, Wes, and that's the difference. We can prattle on about what may have happened if he didn't, but to what avail?

When he appeared in our street, it was both inacarnational and for thought, eh?

Wes said...

See, I knew you would have a good response.

Just wanted to set the tone as I wished you had responded to Jodie's final comment on the Church and State predestination topic. I felt she (and others) were left hanging about our Presbyterian understanding... knowing other denominations may not agree with us.

Wes said...

Meaning... when she picked up the topic of free will.