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Saying Grace

“I would rather hear Dr Harrison say grace over an egg, than hear Bishops pray and preach!” said a certain Lord Thomand in appreciation of the sincerity and power of his Minister’s prayers. That of course, may say something about the state of preaching in some of the high churches in seventeenth century Ireland. Be that as it may, it is still a warm compliment and worthy aspiration so to pray with sincerity and with thankfulness over the provision a humble egg.

From what I can read, Dr Harrison’s prayer did not run along the lines of, “For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful,” but something more personal and less abstract, and something more childlike and less formal. “Our Father, we are truly thankful for this meal that is set before us, grateful for your goodness, grateful that you have put food on our table, and grateful for family and friends with whom to share it.”

There are two ways to say grace, assuming that one understands from where all good gifts come. (Pity the person who raises no word of thanks for their daily bread.) One way can be with a cool formalism that invites pride and pleases all at the table. The other is to acknowledge that the same hand who supplied the meal was once dealt harshly on a Cross. And it is that second way that gives pride the slip, and pleases the Father above.

DM 11th September 2021

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