A Goodly Share
I think often of a sainted member of Peace, Alice Wolters. It was from her and her husband Jerry that I
first heard these words spoken; but now they have become more popular. They follow the common table prayer… “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let these gifts to us be blessed. And may there be a goodly share on every table everywhere. Amen.” I like the extra 11 words tacked on to the old familiar prayer. It captures a global perspective. The words help individuals and families whose meal tables offer abundance (and whose lives are full of abundance of all kinds), increasingly become aware of what others have, or don’t have.
These added words challenge the “Me/Mine” worldview. Today parents, families, children and individuals are bombarded with a philosophy of selfishness. These few added words to the prayer broaden our ethical sensitivities. It opens a discussion with children about the distribution of wealth. Many children
feel it’s unfair that they have so much while millions have so little. They like the idea of others having enough too.
As we speak these extra 11 words three times a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), it helps us gauge what others should have three times a day as well. A prayer like that fits Luther’s explanation of the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed with its listing of “…clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and home, wife and children.” We understand what a “goodly share” would look like.
Could it be that God will answer through a chain reaction of sharing, beginning with whoever has the resource at the moment? Like Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 started with a lad’s lunch, which seemed inadequate to the needs of the moment, but ended up with enough plus 12 baskets of leftovers.
This prayer stirs us to do what we can to see a “goodly share” on all tables in our country and tables around the world. It makes me want to get involved with organizations that address the needs of others.
Opportunities abound where we can provide through relief agencies, international servant events, local service projects, etc. We give and we serve always “in the name of Jesus” who is our Servant Leader. As we lift our eyes off our food and to the needs of others we see the face of Jesus in our brothers and sisters near and far.
I love how Peace is always raising money for some caring cause (I get excited to color in the charts showing the progress of our offerings!), how we send students and adults on mission projects, involve the children in service, pray regularly for missions and global needs. May God bless our efforts, large and small, to provide “a goodly share on every table everywhere.” Amen.
Dir. of Discipleship