Our daily bread

originally published via email on August 10, 2019
This is an excerpt of the second of four articles in our  “SongNotes from the Birds” publication.

The air in Minnesota is continuing its trend toward crispness each morning.  Another heat wave may visit us, but we won’t think about that right now. I’m enjoying wearing a cozy sweatshirt for the first time in many moons. After avoiding hot kitchen tasks as much as possible, this is the time of year when I get the itch to make any and all things of high carb deliciousness.


photo by Wesual Click

This week I considered the idea of submitting a baked good to the state fair.  We’ve set aside Friday, August 23, as the day we will go to the Great Minnesota Get Together as a family (for the first time ever!) and it would be fun to hunt down our submissions in the creative arts building with the kids. When I was about 14, my cousin and I worked up a yummy cinnamon apple bread to enter into a baking competition at the fair.  It was supposed to be a recipe connected to a family tradition, so we made up a story about eating this bread while watching the Macy’s Day parade, and then we made sure to do it later that year so it wasn’t a lie.

(sidenote/update:  No, we didn’t submit any, but here’s a pic of approximately .01% of the bread at the MN State Fair this year. 


This week’s featured song is probably not one you anticipated to fall under the theme of “State Fair” for our SongNotes-on-a-Stick spoof this month.  The Albert Hay Malotte setting of “The Lord’s Prayer” is not from a fun musical or even based on a folk song with strong cultural roots.  It’s unlikely that you have put the two concepts – State Fair and the Lord’s Prayer – in the same virtual paragraph in your head. Ever.

daily bread
photo by Ales Krivec

It works, though, and I’ll tell you why. (No, it has nothing to do with the unintentional rhyme back there.)
Something unique is mentioned in the text of The Lord’s Prayer, which comes from the gospel books of Matthew and Luke. Both texts, which were originally scribed in Greek, contain a word that is not used anywhere else in the Bible – or even in any other ancient Greek texts.  As such, the meaning to be derived from this odd word is not entirely clear but is certainly noteworthy. 
The word in question? – “bread.” 

It is ‘epiousios’ in case you’re curious.  Specifically, this Greek word seems to imply the concept most commonly translated to ‘daily’ in description of the bread being requested in the prayer.

No certain explanation is to be found for the word’s etymology, but I submit that, however you read it, something about this word renders a sense of daily provision, sufficiency, or enough-ness.  It could be physical, or metaphorical, or both.

Ask God to give you what you need.
Trust that He will.
Don’t worry.

With this framework, let your next visit to a state or regional fair be an opportunity to acknowledge the provisions you receive each day. Be grateful for the amazing plants and animals you see and the products derived from them.  Say thank you today and tomorrow to the people who bring you your breakfast in the café, your corn at the produce stand, or your potato chips in the snacks aisle.

And, of course, your bread at the bakery.

This abridged article originally appeared in the August 10 issue of Nathan and Naomi Bird’s “SongNotes from the Birds” publication. 

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