My ancestors include a number of clergymen and my ancestors in general were religious people. But one curious thing I began thinking about recently.
At mealtimes when my paternal grandmother, Jessie Beatrice Bowie was visiting, she would say a blessing consisting of two words: “Jesus wept.”
Well, I know, of course, that this is the shortest verse in the Bible (at least in some versions, most notably the KJV). It is John 11:35, part of the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. When Jesus learns from Lazarus’ sisters that Lazarus has died, Jesus (after a two day intermission) goes to the sisters Mary and Martha.
32Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
34And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
What didn’t occur to me until recently is why would my grandmother say this as a blessing to a meal?
Am I theologically challenged? (Probably so, but . . . . ) What about this passage has anything to do with the typical things we pray for at mealtime?
Can anyone suggest anything?
What unusual rituals did your family have about mealtime prayer?
March 29, 2009 Sunday at 5:29 pm