January 14, 2008

Blessing the Food

This past weekend we did the Lord's Supper as a part of our worship service at my church. I was asked if I could perform my elderly role by asking a blessing upon the grape juice. And this has resulted in another lack of understanding between myself, our modern church, and the scriptures.

I was supposed to ask a blessing upon the juice, which I guess is supposed to make it holy. When looking through scriptural references to this process in the Bible (found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and 1 Corinthians), I was unable to find a good model upon which to base my prayer or our service in general simply because it was rather different in both regards.

I thought my prayer should be a prayer of thanksgiving, thanking God for the blood of Jesus which gives us the gift of salvation. Apparently, I am supposed to be praying (in addition to thanksgiving, of course) mainly for the blessing upon the juice.

What this blessing is supposed to do, however, is what has got me all confused.

My church's position is that we pray for the bread crackers and the grape juice and they become holy. Leftovers must be disposed of in a very precise manner because of this holiness.

Something about this setup really baffles my mind because to me it seems like the process really is more people-based. To me, it seems, that we totally focus on the objects more so than what it is they represent. We are supposed to examine ourselves and not participate in an "unworthy" manner. Do we really ever address what this means?

Additionally, in our daily lives, when we ask for a blessing upon our meals, what exactly are we ask for? Is it a more "thank you God for giving me another meal and for not letting me go hungry" or is it "please transform nutrients/make this unhealthy meal healthy for me/cause this to become a holy meal" type prayer? What it it supposed to be?

This is a very recent development in my current state of confusion about the modern church so I will be looking deeper into it. I will hopefully share something helpful sometime very soon.

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