Thursday, August 30, 2012

Table Blessings

Not sure where I saw it, but I have thought about it often.  It was like a guide to thankful eating.  Long years ago as a boy, I learned to offer table blessings before every meal.  The first table blessing I learned is a remembrance of many.  "God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.  Amen."  Over time I put that simple prayer aside for more adult sounding ones; however, none probably had more of a learning influence than that very brief one.  While the theology of the prayer is good, what I really learned from the experience was the discipline of table blessing.
The misplaced article taught a lesson about offering table blessings.  First, the articls suggested a moment of stillness before the food on the table.  Take a deep breath and think about where you are and what is about to happen.  The second suggestion was to think about all those in the food process chain, from grower to preparer, who have enabled the food to be on the table.  For those of us immersed in urban living, this may be a difficult thing to seriously do.  Thirdly, give a moment's thought to the many who do not have enough to eat.  Remember the hungry.  Finally, breathe a prayer to God allowing the experience of preparing to pray to guide you.
Since being stopped from my rather rote table rituals by this article, I have re-discovered something sacred about the experience of eating.  The food I eat seems to look differently.  No longer does it just show up to be gobbled down so I can get on with something important.  God is great.  And God is good.  And I do need to really thank Him for my food.