We have a family tradition to give thanks before and after every meal – a prayer called the grace. It’s either a silent prayer or this one:
Bless us, O Lord, and these thy
gifts which we are about to
receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A cousin of mine, when he was little, would always say ‘which we are bound to receive’. It was cute but it also made me think about how much we take food for granted. We think it is our right to receive it and forget to give thanks.
I will never forget the young street children who lived in Divya Disha’s home, who had been taught a simple but most beautiful prayer by the warden. It went like this: Bless this food and make us good! What more is there to life after all!
Here’s another grace before meals – a Scottish one – called the Covenanter’s Grace:
“Some hae meat that canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.”
My translation: Some have food but cannot eat (possibly because of health or emotional reasons)
Some want to eat but have no food (poverty, lack of access, etc)
But we have food, and we can eat (we’re blessed!)
So let the Lord be thanked for it.
There are many ways of giving thanks for food, but it’s important that we do give thanks.