READINGOld Testament: Deuteronomy 8:1-10
Psalms: Psalms 63, 98
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 1:17-31
Gospel: Mark 2:18-22
Evening Psalms: Psalms 103
“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land – a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing;… When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.” (Deuteronomy 8: 7-10)
Do you say grace before meals? If so, what do you say? When I was a little girl, we said, “God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for our food. Amen.” As I got older, we added, “By His hands we all are fed; give us Lord our daily bread.” When Beau and Allison were little, they attended the Apple Tree School, so our family’s grace was a slightly revised version of the Johnny Appleseed song. “Oh, the Lord’s been good to me, and so I thank the Lord, for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the Apple Tree. The Lord’s been good to me!” At some point, dear friends taught us the catchy, “Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub! Yay, Lord, AMEN!” And now that our kids are older, we generally stick with the traditional, “Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
I believe that, in the end, it doesn’t really matter WHAT grace we say, only that we say it sincerely, acknowledging with grateful hearts that everything we eat and drink – everything that gives us life and sustains us – is a gift from God.
But can I honestly say my grace is always sincere and heartfelt, or is it sometimes rote? Do I say it in public, or only in the privacy of my own home? Do I say it before every meal, or just before dinner? As I reflect on today’s Old Testament lesson, I realize there is some room for improvement in my “grace” department.
God, you have put me in a land overflowing with fresh water, plentiful food, and delicious wine. Help me always and everywhere to praise You and to be grateful. Amen.