For the next stop on my Sacred Pauses tour, it’s a privilege to be hosted by Christine Sine on Godspace. A number of years ago, Christine, her husband, Tom, and I each spoke at a People’s Summit for Faithful Living along with Tom Yoder Neufeld. I’ve long appreciated their work and ministry, and am honoured to be included in Christine’s Return to Our Senses Lenten series with an excerpt from Sacred Pauses.
“Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let this food to us be blest.”
I learned this table grace as a child, and repeated it so often that even now as an adult I still sometimes pray these same words when I offer a silent prayer before a meal. The words have a comforting rhythm and come quite naturally to me–so automatically in fact that I’m tempted to rattle them off without thinking. But when I slow down and focus, when I’m truly present and paying attention, these simple words can carry me more deeply into prayer.
I reflect on Jesus as a guest at my table, how his presence transforms an ordinary meal into an opportunity for communion with God. I am reminded of “our” table. Even when I’m eating alone, I remain part of a community and a world where some take too much and others do not have enough of God’s abundance. The words of blessing remind me never to take food for granted, but to receive even leftovers with thanks as a blessing from God. In this way my childhood prayer has become as heartfelt an personal as any spontaneous come-as-you-are prayer might be and continues to teach me how to pray.