Wednesday, February 7, 2007


OK, so I've been reading this book by Brad Young called Jesus the Jewish Theologian. If you heard my sermon on the kingdom suffereth violence, a lot of it came from this book. Anyway, in a chapter entitled: "Giving Thanks -- A Way of Life," he talks about the idea of blessing food. He says that pronouncing a blessing to God before eating was common all the way back to the time of Jesus. But the Hebrew idea and Greek term that is translated as blessing (e.g. Lk 9:16) doesn't mean to provide a blessing or to set apart, but rather to worship God by acknowledging his kingdom and his authority. So, we need to bless (worship) God for his provision for us. To bless food then is a basic misunderstanding of blessing. You don't bless a created thing, rather, you bless the source of the created thing -- God.

Obviously, this is a small thing, but interesting, and with interesting implications. When I bless food, the thought behind my words is, bless this food that I have worked for, and make it make me healthy, etc. I usually say "Bless this food and make it nourish my body so I can better serve you." The reality of the situation is that God has given me what I need to nourish my body out of what he owns already (Ps. 24:1), and what needs to happen there is me blessing Him for His provision. Another way of saying what I am garbling out is this: I am usually looking at myself as having provided the food, and asking God to bless what I have provided. In a very small yet repetitive way I am thanking myself, and asking God to add His blessing to what I have blessed my family with. ( I know I ended with a preposition, but I couldn't figure a clear way to say that without it)

Your thoughts...