Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On Mealtime prayer with little ones.....

I came across something in my own reading this week that deeply impacts my thoughts toward mealtime with my two Littles.

Why Did God Create Bread and Hunger?

One of the reasons food has this amazing power is that it is so

basic to our existence. Why is this? I mean, why did God create

bread and design human beings to need it for life? He could have

created life that has no need of food. He is God. He could have

done it any way he pleased. Why bread? And why hunger and

thirst? My answer is very simple: He created bread so that we

would have some idea of what the Son of God is like when he

says, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35). And he created the

rhythm of thirst and satisfaction so that we would have some

idea of what faith in Christ is like when Jesus said,
“He who believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

When we eat, we taste the emblem of our heavenly food—the Bread of Life.

A Hunger For God (John Piper) p. 21 enter into mealtime with the focus that "this very bread (or broiled tilapia and roasted butternut squash, as is the case for us tonight) is here to remind me of my NEED, my DEPENDENCE for Christ.  And the iced tea I'll wash it all down with (milk, in the case of my Littles)?  To show me, as I drink and am quenched, of what Christ's very presence in my life can do."  I plan to begin explaining this--right now in terms a 4 year-old can understand--to my children as we gather around the table.  And to attempt to internalize it myself.  To be honest, she'll probably grasp it better than me.  I see every day what Jesus means about "becoming like one of these (children)" when my daughter's faith trumps mine.  And my mealtime prayers will change.  "Father, teach us, with this very meal, that we live off of you.  You are our existance, the force that sustains us, A NEED we cannot live without.  You are the only place we can drink deeply and be quenched--in nothing else, no matter where we try--can we find our soul's longing filled."  A prayer I need so deeply as my days are filled with gifts from God--but gifts that ARE NOT God.  I need the quenching that comes from Him alone.  So I will pray this prayer over my children and over myself and I hope that those mealtimes we spend together will become the object lessons God created them to be.

Quinn is very obsessed with the whole concept of communion right now.  One of her favorite things to play is "communion," and, I must share, we usually have to "stand in" prune juice for grape, as that's the only juice I keep in the house.  But, I digress.  :)  As I am digesting this whole concept of bread and water in my mind today, I realize that mealtime is our daily symbol of communion with Christ--our dependance on him and a time for thankfulness that he DOES sustain my life and he fills my soul's thirsts.  I feel myself drawn to the lines of the praise song, "As the Deer..." (from Ps 42). 

So I write all of this because I feel like I came to some big realization of the holiness of mealtime that I've missed all my life.  And maybe I am the only one who didn't already know these things?  But I share in case you didn't know....or maybe forgotten...and you have some little people sitting across the table from you that need to know why we eat and drink.  Even little, LITTLE people can benefit from having this prayer said over them.... 
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