31 So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, you should do it all for God’s glory.
The Callender’s have three standard graces that we say before eating:
- Be ye thankful, for God shall supply, every need of yours. Amen.
- For what we are about to receive, we thank thee Lord in Jesus’ name. Amen.
- For these and all thine other good gifts to us, we thank thee our Father. Help us to love thee more and serve thee better. Amen.
I think it’s safe to say that we have a certain formality to us. But it can be rather humorous when one Callender starts grace by saying “For…” and everyone waits to join until hearing what the next word will be. Are we going, “For what…” or “For these…”
The funniest experience I’ve had, though, when it comes to someone saying grace over a meal was this time at a bowling alley where a bunch of church members, including the pastor, joined and pizza was ordered. Just as people were about to begin eating, the pastor said, “Let us pray.” and without missing a beat, someone exclaimed, “Over pizza?!” Yes, it’s still right to give thanks to God for your food, even if that food is simply some pizza.
In today’s text, it is being said that basically no food is off limits as long as it is for God’s glory. Sometimes the food we eat is very nutritious and beneficial to our bodies. Sometimes it is served or gifted to us out of another’s hospitality and generosity. Sometimes, let’s be honest, it’s a splurge. Even when it may be a treat rather than a carrot, pizza rather than a salad – it is still energy for our body. I think about this a lot when choosing what to eat. This has inspired me to sometimes veer away from the traditional Callender graces and give thanks to God that acknowledges both the farms and work that got this food to me and also that Jesus spent much of His ministry sitting at a dinner table.
So yes, I give great thanks to God for kale and cucumbers from my garden and also for the pizza sliced between friends. Maybe I’ll just throw some veggies on there for good measure.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Do you say grace before eating? What has that practice looked like throughout your life? Do your prayers include tradition, scripture, humor? Does it speak to Christ’s life or to the food sources? What would it look like to intentionally pray before any meal, even a snack?
Prayer: Creator God, you have sculpted us on land that grows food. We give you thanks for the farmers who work those lands, for the sellers and cooks who bring that food from the earth to our tables. May we never take this for granted. Amen.