Give Thanks for More than the Meal

Like all Christians, I follow the Lord’s example and give thanks at meals for the food I receive (Matthew 15:36), the food that our generous heavenly Father “created to be received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:3).

One of Willa Cather’s remarkable characters, missionary Bishop Latour, labors far from his native France in the American southwest. His traveling companion, fellow French priest and dearest friend carefully prepares a bowl of onion soup with croutons and places it in front of him.

The Bishop reflects:

I am not deprecating your individual talent, Joseph . . . But when one thinks of it, a soup like this is not the work of one man. It is the result of a constantly refined tradition. There are nearly a thousand years of history in this soup.*

Much of the great food we enjoy evolved over centuries. Along with the food we receive, we should be grateful for the culinary heritage from which it emerged. That, too, is a gift from God.


* Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)

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