Well, we made it again from Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Years! Food preparation and hospitality were high on our priority list. Seasonal goodies tempted us at every turn. Ethnic food traditions delighted us. Moms are usually the ones who made it all happen.
Who doesn’t overindulge on all those sumptuous delicacies? As a consequence, our New Years’ resolutions seemed to zero in on diet and exercise. How well have we done with all our hopes and goals?
Scripture has much to say about eating and our attitudes toward food.
Don’t you imagine that Jesus loved to eat? He always seemed to be going to dinner parties! Many of His parables revolved around food. He even invited Himself to dinner at Zaccheus’ house. (I’ll bet His Jewish Mamma Mary was a good cook and so was His grandma Anna!) He said of Himself, “The Son of Man comes eating and drinking….” (Matthew 11:19) Many events in His life and His divine declarations took place in the context of food. Jesus declared that He is The Bread of Life. (John 6:35)
After His ascension to the Father, we have a glimpse in Acts 2:46 of how His apostles ate: “…they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God….” What a good model for us!
These days we even see promos in the media reminding us that to have a happy family we should eat our meals together! So what else is new? Past generations took that for granted. For Christians, to share food expresses fellowship, celebration and thanksgiving. What an incongruity that most of the world beyond our shores prays for enough food to eat, and we pray for God’s help to limit our food intake because we are overweight!
The following is not a prayer for you to teach your family before diving into the food you serve so abundantly on your table—Cries may come forth, “The prayer is too long! The food is getting cold!”
I offer it as a Bible study and for your own private mother-heart meditation in some quiet corner perhaps after holiday festivities when you might be thinking about the dreaded four letter word: DIET. As moms, we are the chief food processors and servers and hospitality givers, so we bear a heavy responsibility for our Christian households.
A Mother’s Meditation on Food
Dear Lord of all I am, including my mortal body which belongs to You not to me, (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20) I want to eat and drink to Your glory. (1 Cor.10:31) May every meal I prepare for myself or for my family be a truly spiritual event.
Lord God, You declared that everything You created is good (Genesis 1) including food, and nothing is to be rejected, if we receive it with gratitude as those who believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:3-5) Thank You for providing the food which I prepare. Bless and sanctify it by Your word and by this my prayer. I offer to Your Lordship my appetite, the good digestion of the food, and its nourishment for my body and for the health of my family. (Romans 12:1)
Scripture declares that Your will for me is to prosper and be in health, even as my soul prospers. (3 John 2) Help me to wisely keep my body, soul, and spirit in the best condition so that I can daily walk in divine health to please and serve You. (Ephesians 5:10)
You said that man [and woman too!] does not live by bread alone, that the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, peace, and joy. (Romans 14:17) Teach me to watch and pray when I choose foods; show me how to eat only food that is nutritious and needful for me (Proverbs 30:8) lest I yield to the temptation of the flesh. You know, O Lord, that my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. (Mark 14:38) Nevertheless, I can do all things, even controlling my food selection and portions, through You who promised to strengthen me. (Philippians 2:13)
Help me eat only as much as I need for my body’s health. (Proverbs 25:16) In order to be a better witness for You, if I need to shed the weight that so easily besets me through poor eating habits, (Hebrews 12:1) may I grow the Fruit of the Spirit in temperance and self-control. (Galatians 5:16, 22-25)
Whenever I eat, may it be with joy and gladness as a celebration because You, gracious Father, have given us richly all things to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17) Give me a merry heart so that I may have a continual feast. (Proverbs 15:15)
Lord Jesus, You were known in the breaking of bread whereby You revealed Your real presence. (Luke 24:30, 31) When I come to Your Eucharistic Table, I receive Your Body and Blood indeed. You, in turn, promised to be at our daily table to eat with me and my family. (Revelation 3:20) I acknowledge and welcome Your presence and preeminence among us who gather to eat. (Proverbs 3:6) May our conversation over food be pleasant as a honeycomb, sweet to our souls, health to our bones, and pleasing to You. (Proverbs 16:24)
In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. AMEN