Be present at our table, Lord;
Be here and everywhere adored;
These mercies bless and grant that we
May strengthened for thy service be.*
*Alternate last line: May feast in paradise with Thee.
Our hymn today is a prayer, but aren't they all? This one is a mealtime prayer asking for God's blessing. This sung prayer also invites and welcomes God's presence at the table. I always find it strange that we ask God to be present with us, because we believe that God is always present. "Be present at our table, Lord," we pray. Truly we know that God is already here with us. But the invitation actually serves as a reminder for us of God's presence. When singing the words "Be present," we are also calling ourselves to be present and to be aware of God's presence. As we sing, we use our entire bodies fueled by our breath. God is here in our body and in our breath. God is here in the food we eat and in the company we share. This sung prayer invites us to see God all around us and within us.
God of breath and song, thank you for my body and all that fuels it. Help me to see you all around me. Be present, Lord, and help me to be present too. Amen.