What do you think about giving thanks to God for your food? Is it something that we should do when we have a meal in front of us as Christians? I want to make some observations from the incident in Mark 8:1-10 regarding the feeding of four thousand. In Mark 8:6-7 we read concerning the Lord that He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. So what do we observe here about our Lord’s actions that we may learn thereby?
- He gave thanks in front of those who were going to benefit from the food.
- He gave thanks as soon as the food came to Him. He did it before He gave it to His disciples to distribute. This all seems to emphasise that giving thanks to God for the food was a priority for the Lord.
- When further food arrived in the form of the few small fish he gave thanks again. He did not include it within the original prayer, He wanted to acknowledge God as the giver again. He was giving a clear message in this that it is essential for believing people to be giving thanks for God’s gifts. In particular to be given thanks for our food.
- He as the head of the gathering took the initiative in giving thanks. So fathers in homes, elders in churches and hosts at parties need to take the initiative to honour God in this.
- He wants everyone to know that their food is a gift from heaven and not something that they can presume upon receiving. How easily as urbanites we presume that our food will just appear in the supermarkets. No! Every good gift comes from our Father in heaven.
The main thing that strikes me in all this is how the Lord made it a priority to acknowledge the Lord of the good food they were about to receive. As a general principle we should be giving thanks for the good gifts that the Lord gives us.