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  • janetmchenry

Need Some Christmas Grace?

I found a cute pair of salt and pepper shakers at our new antiques store in Loyalton–Lombardi Mercantile.

I might have overlooked them from earlier visits there, as they were beaten up with use–the painted exterior worn from lots of salting and peppering and a missing piece on Salt.

However, I noticed some lettering on the back, and when I picked them up and examined them more closely, my reading confirmed my thoughts: Salt has a grace to say before meals, while Pepper has a grace to say after meals.

They’re traditional prayers, such as would have been said in my growing-up years:

Grace Before Meals:

Bless me, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Grace After Meals:

We give Thee thanks, Almighty God, for all Thy benefits, Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

A picture of Jesus appears on Pepper, which seems to have been less of a popular seasoning than Salt, who lost its Jesus from the family that previously owned the pair. (Note to self and maybe you: Don’t lose your Jesus this Christmas!)

So, yes, I had to have them. I love all things #prayer. I don’t think they’ll be salt-and-peppering our meals, but I love the reminders to pray as they sit on my kitchen counter.

I need more grace in my life–not grace from God. I have received that kind of grace abundantly. What I need is my own offering of grace to God every time I sit down to a meal or grab a drink or snack. I take for granted life’s necessities.

And perhaps grace–a short prayer of thankfulness–is the best gift we can give back to God this Christmas as we take in not only meals but even more abundance to fill our closets and shelves.

Before Christ came, it was traditional for a blessing to be said after a meal; however, Jesus switched that up. You can see many references to his saying a blessing BEFORE food was distributed to the masses or in more private gatherings. He anticipated God’s answers and provision before receiving them.

The term “grace” comes from Christian traditions, coming from the Ecclesiastical Latin phrase gratiarum actio, “act of thanks.” We say a blessing or grace because God is the origin of everything. The food we eat we have because God created it. Fruit was his idea. Grain was his idea. Meat protein was his idea. Vegetables–like them or not–were his idea. We have a lot more choices than manna and quail these days.

Life itself–the sustenance that keeps my heart beating and my lungs breathing–is a gift and worth of my grace.

So my tiptoeing to the throne of grace a few times a day to say thank you to my Creator and Sustainer is the least I can do. And when I forget, I know his grace covers me.

So I keep #lookingup.

Janet always said she would not be that person who collects salt and pepper shakers but now has a ridiculous number of them. A national speaker, she is the author of 24 books–six of those on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She would love to connect with you:

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