As a pastor when gatherings occur that involve food, often times I will be asked to “Give the Blessing”. It is always sort of a serious request, one that catches some people off guard … so as I start to thank God for the food before us, some are already eating/talking/passing food etc..
Many times when you see people say “Grace” over their food it is either a habit they have, a legalistic reality they live with, it is something that they do when kids or family are around, but not often does it come out as meaningful. People just want it to be over, so they can eat. It is a formality to many, not a necessity.
In the book “A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table“, Tim Chester writes the following:
“We need to rediscover the rhythm of “saying grace” before meals. Perhaps some of us need to discover this for the first time; others may need to refresh what has become a stale habit. What do we express when we say grace?
- Our daily dependence of God as creatures and sinners.
- Our dependence on others as we give thanks for those who grew, processed, bought, and cooked our food.
- The goodness of food, thereby transforming our food from fuel to a gift to be relished.
- Our gratitude to God, thereby reorienting ourselves away from self and back to God.
- Our gratitude for community as we ask God’s blessing on our fellowship over the meal.
How important it is to be reminded of these wonderful truths. What a difference they make to our enjoyment of God and food and each other. If only we had three opportunities each day to remember and enact these truths!” (Page 73)
I had a professor that once talked about saying Grace … he got quite emotional as he said … “You BOW YOUR HEAD then you enjoy God’s gift of food!” I have never forgot that … and I hope to pass on a necessity to my children, a necessity that celebrates God goodness and generousness to us as it pertains to food!