The Problem With Grace

Thanksgiving PrayerSharon Astyk had some insightful reflections about Thanksgiving and saying grace or blessing before a meal:

The problem with saying grace is that it can get you into tricky places. For those who believe that God is involved in all of this, it gets trickier still. Faiths may have theological differences, some quite major, but most of us agree that there’s a partnership of sorts with God involved. That is, we thank the farmer who grows the food, and we thank forth God who brings forth bread from the earth. We thank the vintner who made the wine, and God who sent the rains. At the end of the day, most theists will be thanking God for the food – and thus, implicating God in the food.

But it isn’t always clear that we should be grateful for the food we have.

My practice of saying grace has evolved over time, especially as my food and justice consciousness has risen. I can hardly pray before a meal now without thinking about those who are doing without at that precise moment. More and more I find it hard to pray without thinking about our connection to the food we’re eating whether it’s a local/organic/seasonal feast or a fast food fix.

Sharon’s whole post is well worth the read. So, do you pray before meals? If so, can we be thankful for food that may not be just or even good for us? Like the Pre-consumption prayer, the way we pray before we eat may just change the way we eat.

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