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First Monday of Advent


She was cooking meals and setting tables

with God leaning heavily on her heart.

“Follow me,” said God, “Come, follow me.”

“Oh Holy One,” she answered, “I am yours.

Tell me how I may follow you.”

And God said, “Cook meals and set tables.”

“What do you mean?” she said. “I’ve been

doing just that for almost nine years.

I’m talking about a real vocation.”

And God said, “For nine years

your hands have been at work

but your head has been in other places.

Be present to cooking and serving meals

and see what happens.”

With disappointment and a little doubt,

the woman tried to be present to her work,

and gradually, there was a change.

She began to notice the beauty of food,

every vegetable a miracle of design and flavour.

She saw the progression of life in the food chain,

how plant and animal changed form

yet remained a part of the Oneness.

Setting a table became a sacred task,

the preparation of an altar, cloth and flowers,

fine dishes for the food, and places for guests.

Eventually, she saw cooking and setting tables

not as a chore but a vital act of prayer

which had changed herself, her meals

and the people who sat at her tables.

She prayed in gratitude, “Oh Holy One,

“I don’t know how to say this,

but it seems that every meal is Eucharist.”

And God said, “Good. You’re catching on.”

Joy Cowley

John Powell, Through Seasons of the Heart

There is an old Christian tradition that God sends each person into this world With a special message to deliver, With a special song to sing for others, With a special act of love to bestow. No one else can speak my message, Or sing my song, Or offer my act of love. These are entrusted only to me.

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