Have you ever eaten at Chuy’s? It has become one of my favorites as I like to get the “Big as Yo’ Face” burrito. I still think my face is bigger, but I digress. Every time I dine there, I receive my silverware in a paper sleeve. Very hygienic. On the back of this sleeve are printed three prayers: a Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish prayer for your meal.
They are as follows:
“Bless, O Lord, this food to our use and us to thy service, and make us ever mindful of the needs of others, in Jesus Name. Amen.”
“Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy Bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
“Lift up your hands toward the sanctuary and bless the Lord. Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who bringest forth bread from the earth. Amen.”
While I’ve been known to rap in a Catholic church, I’ve never claimed Catholicism. And while I’m in Christ, who was a Jew as a man, I’ve never claimed Judaism. And while my upbringing was of a Protestant tradition, the only thing I really protest is the man-made traditions with which we attempt to box in Christ. So, with all that being said, I offer a few thoughts on these prayers.
I noticed that two of the prayers ask God to bless us, while the other asks us to bless God. While one prayer asks God to bless us to His service and to make us mindful of others’ needs, which sounds nice, it still feels, to me, like a list of things for God to do for us. And two of the prayers ask God to bless the food, which the prayers concedes comes from Him. If the food and gifts came from God, wouldn’t they already be blessed?
I read these prayers every time I eat at Chuy’s. Admittedly, that is the only time I ever really think about them. I’ve just always been struck by the calling down blessing of some prayers versus the unadulterated worship of the other.
Just food for thought, I guess. 😉