I was amused more than annoyed when the Church of England’s film was turned down for showing at UK cinemas. People asked what was so offensive. This got me thinking. That God’s name is honoured rather than blasphemed, that his kingdom should come on earth and his will be done could two good starters for ten.
Then the next line hit me, “give us today our daily bread”. Not bread for the week, or month or year but today and daily. Reflecting upon what Bonhoeffer says about this verse from Matthew is truly shocking and would most certainly be offensive our consumerist society.
Earthly goods are given to be used, not to be collected. In the wilderness God gave Israel the manna every day, and they had no need to worry about food and drink. Indeed, if they kept any of the manna over until the next day, it went bad. In the same way, the disciple must receive his portion from God every day. If he stores it up as a permanent possession, he spoils not only the gift, but himself as well, for he sets his heart on accumulated wealth, and makes it a barrier between himself and God. Where our treasure is, there is our trust, our security, our consolation and our God. Hoarding is idolatry.
George Osbourne would not approve!