A ‘grace’ from the Inuit people

The lands around my dwelling Are more beautiful From the day When it is given me to see Faces I have never seen before. All is more beautiful, All is more beautiful, And life is thankfulness. These guests of mine make my house grand. The Eskimo people of Northern Canada and Alaska are known as…

A ‘grace’ from the Osage Indians

Footprints I make! I go to the field with eager haste. Footprints I make! Amid rustling leaves I stand. Footprints I make! Amid yellow blossoms I stand. Footprints I make! I stand with exultant pride. Footprints I make! I hasten homeward with a burden of gladness. Footprints I make! There’s joy and gladness in my…

A Hindu blessing

As thou has set the moon in the sky to be the poor man’s lantern, so let thy light shine in my dark life and lighten my path; as the rice is sown in the water and brings forth grain in great abundance, so let thy word be sown in our midst that the harvest…

A ‘grace’ from Pakistan

God, we thank you for all your gifts. This day, this night, these fruits, these flowers, these trees, these waters— with all these treasures you have endowed us. The heat of the sun, the light of the moon, the songs of the birds and the coolness of the breeze, the green, green grass like a…

What shall we have for dinner?

What shall we have for dinner? What do you want for dinner? This is an anguished cry and often heard in suburban and even urban households whatever the makeup, gender and partnership. I have a habit of wailing: I don’t mind buying it, and cooking it, just tell me what you want to eat! I’ll…

An ode to bread and wine

My friend Stefanie passed on these words in response to others from Garrison Keilor posted here. Though quoted by David Adam in one of his many books of Celtic prayers, I’m unsure of where they come from originally. If you know, I would be glad to know too. Be gentle, when you touch bread, Let…

The Providore of Heaven

A few weeks back I sat in a seminar led by a colleague in ministry, Nicholas Tuohy. Chef turned pastor, Nick has written a thesis on food in the gospels. In the course of conversation, Nick referred to God as ‘host and providore’. Honestly, I didn’t hear much beyond that. The second of these images…

A ‘Grace’ from Monica Shannon

When we eat the good bread, we are eating months of sunlight, weeks of rain and snow from the sky, richness out of the earth. We should be great, each of us radiant, full of music and full of stories. Able to run the way the clouds do, able to dance like the snow and…

A ‘Grace’ from Robert Louis Stevenson

Lord behold our family here assembled. We thank thee for this place in which We dwell, for the love that unites us, for The peace accorded us this day, For the health, the work, the food, and the bright Skies that make our lives delight, for Our friends in all parts of the earth. Give…

A ‘grace’ from Walter Rauschenbusch

A circle of friends is a blessed thing. Sweet is the breaking of bread with friends. For the honour of their presence at our board We are deeply grateful, Lord. Thanks be to Thee for friendship shared, Thanks be to Thee for food prepared. Bless Thou the cup; bless Thou the bread; Thy blessing rest…

A ‘grace’ from Christ’s College Cambridge

Christ, the gladdener of all, without whom nothing is sweet or pleasant, bless, we beg of you, the food and drink of your servants, which you have provided for our bodily sustenance; and grant that we may use these gifts to praise you, and may enjoy them with grateful hearts; grant too that, just as…

‘Soil and Sacrament’ by Fred Bahnson

I am no gardener. Though I recall tending to my designated ‘plot’ in the suburban garden of my childhood, the passion never took root. My beloved, however, is a gardener. I appreciate the beauty, abundance and joy of what she does. Though the city balcony on which she has to work is frustratingly small, the…