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Message From Pastor Leon

posted Dec 30, 2013, 9:24 AM by Tracey Morris   [ updated Mar 26, 2016, 7:38 AM ]
Many of us are relieved when the busy Christmas season is over and life returns to normal. But for many people these days, the 'busy-ness' is what is normal, and they continue to be busy on into January and throughout the year. Because we are busy we have to make choices, and while we do try to get done what is most important, those things we consider to be of less importance may be forgotten. But we must not forget about what is most important of all in life, and that is our faith in God.

I don't know how busy people were in Bible times, but there are many verses in the Bible that encourage the people to remember God. One example is in Psalm 105:4-5 which says: "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always, and remember the wonders he has done..." One of the Ten Commandments is a command to remember: "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy." For thousands of years weekly worship has served as one of those regular reminders of God and his presence in our lives. Holy Communion is another such reminder. Every time we receive Communion we hear again the words of Jesus: "This do in remembrance of me."

Another way to remember God is to say our prayers every day. This can be done at a special time in the morning or in the evening, or by occasional prayers said as one goes through their day. Best of all is a combination of a regular time for prayers, along with the spontaneous prayers. Along with that, it is a good habit to remember to say a prayer of thanks to God before every meal. This is an excellent reminder that not only our food, but everything we have is a gift of God. Some of you, no doubt, have always said a prayer at mealtime; others, perhaps, have never had that habit.

I have put together a page of mealtime prayers that can help you in this practice. They are on the bottom of this post. I am in the practice of saying the same, traditional prayer at every meal, but I have also been including some of these. A different prayer with new words helps us to focus a bit more on what is being said. Perhaps these prayers can be useful to you also.

Have a Blessed and Happy New Year.

--Pastor Leon 

Mealtime Prayers 

www.emailmeditations.wordpress.com #238, December 5, 2013

May the blessing of God rest upon all who have been kind to us, have cared for us, have worked for us, have served us, and have shared our bread with us at this table. Our merciful God, reward all of them in your own way for yours is the glory and the honor forever. Amen.

--St. Cyril, Coptic Orthodox Church (Egypt)

Lord Jesus, be our holy guest; our morning joy, our evening rest;
And with our daily bread impart, your love and peace to every heart. Amen.
(may be sung to Old Hundredth)

Feed us, Father, we are your children.
Bless the food we have before us so that we may be nourished in body and soul until,
with all the saints, we are able to surround your banquet table in heaven. Amen. (German)

For these and all Thy gifts of love,
We give Thee thanks and praise;
Look down, O Father, from above, And bless us all our days. Amen.

For food and drink and happy days,
Accept our gratitude and praise;
In serving others, Lord, may we
Repay in part our debt to Thee. Amen.

We thank Thee for our daily bread,
Let also, Lord, our souls be fed.
O Bread of life, from day to day,
Sustain us on our homeward way. Amen.

We thank you, good Lord, for this food which is ours by your goodness. May the strength that comes through the food you give us enable us to do your will, serving you in such a way that we may show our gratitude. Amen

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest; and let these Thy gifts to us be blest. Amen. (Traditional Protestant)

Bless, O Lord, thy gifts to our use and us to thy service. Give us grateful hearts, our Father, for all thy mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
--Book of Common Prayer (two prayers combined)

Father in heaven, sustain our bodies with this food, our hearts with true friendship, and our souls with thy truth, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
--The Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian, 1906

Thou art great and Thou art good, And we thank Thee for this food;
By Thy hand will we be fed; Give us, Lord, our daily bread.
Bless our home with peace and love,
And grant us in Christ a home above. Amen.

A thousand gifts thou dost impart.
One more I ask, O Lord: A grateful heart. Amen.
--George Herbert

We thank you, Lord, for happy hearts, for fair and sunny weather.
We thank you, Lord, for this our food, and that we are together. Amen.

Give us Lord, a bit o’ sun,
A bit o’ work and a bit o’ fun;
Give us all in the struggle and sputter
Our daily bread and a bit o’ butter.
--On the wall of an old inn, Lancaster, England

Lord Jesus, you are the living water given to quench the deepest thirst of our hearts and you are the bread of heaven sent to give us life that will go on forever. We thank you that you are also mindful of our earthly human needs and that day by day you provide for these needs, even as you give us the gifts we need for our spirits. We praise and thank you. Amen.