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home » articles » "Bless This Food to our Bodies"

Bless This Food to our Bodies

How many times have we heard Christians pray before a meal? And how many times have we heard those prayers include "bless this food to our bodies"? Aside from the prayer's juvenile grammar ("bless" is an intransitive verb and therefor cannot take the prepositional phrase, "to our bodies", as its object), the general idea of thanking God for food deserves some critique.

Mat 7:9 - Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

If God created us such that we are hungry and need food, then doesn't God have a moral obligation to feed us? That is, wouldn't it be cruel for God to create us in such a way that we constantly need food, then deny us the food? Taking this notion to the extreme, should we thank God for air with each breath we breath? (If you believe we should, I invite you to give it a try, then please let me know how that goes - between breaths, of course).

If you thank God for food because you believe that it is He that gives it to us, then what do you believe about those who have no food? What about countries where food is scarce and starvation is the norm? What about the millions of innocent children that starve to death every year? Do you understand it as God's punishment for iniquity? If so, then we have food because of our righteousness and we have ourselves to thank. If it is not because of our own righteousness, (Mat 5:45 - "for [your Father which is in heaven] maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.), that is if we have food because of divine Grace, then where is the Grace for the millions who die of starvation?

Mat 5:45 - for [your Father which is in heaven] maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Jesus' prayer regarding food was "Give us this day our daily bread;" (Mat 6:11), it was not thanksgiving for the food. Instead, the prayer reminds God of his responsibility to feed us (or perhaps it reminds us of God's responsibility); it does not give thanks for not being a cruel God by not withholding food. Note that Jesus does indeed bless bread in Mat 26:26: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples." However, He doesn't bless it to the disciples' bodies. Because that would just be bad grammar which would betray a misunderstanding of what "to bless" means.

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