Christ in My Kitchen

Written by Sharon Kaufman, Contributing Writer

A Divine Calling

Recently, while junking at my favorite thrift store, I found a kitchen blessing written on an old wall hanging. (Oh…the joys of thrifting!) I did edit it a little and added the last few verses. There was no name to identify its author.

But the poem reminds me why God has ordained the wonderful sphere of the home as the wife’s occupation in life. What better place could we be? It is a heavenly and high calling. In the home, specifically the kitchen, godly women do the very work that God Himself does. We feed others, which is what God has done from the very beginning of time. He feeds His people. This is divine activity!

In the garden, God fed the man and woman He created; in fact, He created their food even before He fashioned Adam and Eve. The LORD fed the children of Israel manna in the dessert. God kept the widow’s jug of oil and jar of flour replenished for herself, her son and Elijah the prophet (1 Kings 17) during a time of famine.

Nourishment as Ministry

During His earthly ministry, Jesus compassionately fed the multitudes. Matt 15:32 tells us about one such time:

Then Jesus called his disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

The first time Jesus fed a multitude there were 5000 men alone, not including women and children. On another occasion (John 6:1-14), Jesus used a young boy’s five barley loaves and two small fish to feed upwards of 10,000 hungry people.

Tuning into our family’s physical need for food as Jesus did, will move us to compassion to meet that need through nourishment. The love of Christ will be manifested to those we love as we provide food that really satisfies physical hunger and the body’s need to build, repair and energize itself.

This is something that many children (or husbands) in the United States do not experience in our day and age as more and more mothers depend upon those outside the home (who have no sense of compassion) to feed them.

Feeding Others – An Opportunity for Spiritual Nourishment

But besides physical food, God supplies His children with spiritual food. In the 23rd Psalm, our Shepherd leads us and feeds us. Jesus told His followers, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35-36).

Nourishing others with physical food from our kitchens opens to us the opportunity to nourish them spiritually as well. And that, my dear sisters, is what our kitchens are all about.

Feeding Others

Bless my little kitchen, Lord;
I love its every nook.
And bless me as I do my work,
Wash pots and pans and cook.

May the meals that I prepare
Be seasoned from above
With Your blessing and Your grace,
But most of all Your love.

As we partake of earthly food
The table You have spread,
We’ll not forget to thank You, Lord,
For all our daily bread.

Please bless my little kitchen, Lord
And those who enter here;
May they find Your joy and peace,
Through Christ the Savior dear.

For what I offer on each plate
Can only gratify
The temporary need one has -
T’will never satisfy.

But Jesus is the Bread of Life;
It is the soul He feeds.
He gives to every hungering heart
Himself, to meet the need.

“She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.” (Proverbs 31:15)

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst”. (John 6:35-36)

Do you view your kitchen as a place of ministry? What does it look like to use our food preparation as an opportunity to nourish people spiritually?

About Sharon Kaufman

Sharon has enjoyed being Robert’s helper for 34 years. She has also loved her role of being mom to their children – one son and three daughters (now all grown) – and “Granny” to seven, and soon to be nine delightful grandchildren. She is passionate about encouraging and equipping women in her church and beyond and also through her blogs (The Good Woman) and (Franziska's Pantry) to embrace and delight in their divinely-designed occupation as helpers.

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Comments

  1. Anna Ramos says:

    Love, love, love this!
    It is so sad that people have taken offense to this as none was intended. I am always bemoaning the sad state of pre packaged foods, fast food, convenience foods, but never made the connection to the compassion and love or lack thereof that determines the quality of the finished product. The prepared foods out there that are out there that are made with compassion and love, are not made with the profit margin in mind, and those are consequently few and far between. In today’s culture with many parents who don’t have the option of putting a home cooked meal on three times a day (there are many who would love to stay at home and live on one income, however in our culture it is for many, not possible). I think there ought to be an alternative to the frozen pizzas and boxed dinners we often resort to, which by the way, we often resort to not out of love and compassion but poor planning and sheer exhaustion (myself included). We must make the nourishment of our family a priority, not an afterthought.

  2. Dale Ogren says:

    I found your edited version of M. Peterson’s poem, “My Little Kitchen”, which I have found with and without the author’s name, and the date 1944, while Googling to try to learn something more about the author. A friend gave me a copy of the poem in the early 1970′s, and I keep it in my kitchen. I also found a copy of Klara Munker’s “Kitchen Prayer,” which seems to be from an even older time because it uses “Thee” and “Thou.” My mother had it in her kitchen, and I missed it so. I will recommend your web site at the Cook’s Retreat at our church camp this weekend. Thanks for your version of “My Little Kitchen.”

  3. LOVED this post. Thank you for it!! Absolutely, my kitchen is my work place for me to be God’s vessel. For all of us to be His vessel! Creating nourishing, toxin-free meals for our loved ones is the way that God intended it to be. I thank Him every day for the blessings He provides us the the skills He’s give me in the kitchen. Loved the verse, thank you!!

  4. What a sweet poem! I was hoping for a picture of it. What a great thrift find–I wonder how long your plaque has been around?

  5. anonymous says:

    @Lissa,
    You have accused the writer of insinuating that it is “somehow wrong” for a mother to work outside of the home. This is a question in which that I have recently been seeking the bible for answers. I would challenge you to find one example where a woman in the bible works both outside of the home and outside of the authority of her husband. We could talk about the proverbs 31 woman and aquilla/priscilla, and I would point out that the work of these women was both from within the home and under the authority of their husband (not out of the home and under the authority of another employer). This is something that has been brought to my attention lately so I thought I would share. Not judging, just pointing out what I believe is made clear in scripture.

    • Mom of 4 says:

      @anonymous,

      It is important to consider the historical/cultural context in which the Bible was written and lived. There were no jobs available for women period. A single or widowed woman without family to support her (or a married woman with a husband unable to work for that matter) was essential reduced to either begging or prostitution. Thank God, it is no longer the case and good, honorable, and well paying jobs are available for women who need to work.

      I believe you would be hard pressed find many examples of men working under the authority of another as well. Men of the Biblical day were largely farmers, tradesmen, fishermen, etc. Only a handful were “government employees” ie. tax collectors.

      My apologizes for the tangent…

      • Mom of 4 says:

        @Mom of 4,

        I should add that I understand and agree that mothers play a vital role in God’s plan for family and I believe that view is strongly supported in Scripture.

        However, I don’t believe the converse is true in all cases, nor do I see Scriptures backing that up.

  6. Danielle A says:

    Oh wow, this post was just absolutely wonderful! The poem was just darling. I love cooking and feeding my husband. I am still learning to implement the kitchen, but I hope when we start a family that it will be a fantastic place God will use. :)

  7. LOVE IT! found the author M. Peterson 1944 at this website: cookingwithoutborders.wordpress.com/my-kitchen-cathedral/

    @ Lissa , another way to think of “those outside the home to feed them” . Think of all the food being prepared factory style. the food is not being made with love and compassion. Even I (a stay at home mom) buy lots of prepared things! My list includes bread, pasta, crackers, corn chips, cereal, and the occasional pizza among other things. So even in my home others “with no sense of compassion” have prepared the food!

    • @Marcy, You know I did not really think of it from that perspective but you are right in that regard. Thanks!

      • @Lissa, Also, think of all the meals served from fast food and chain restaurants. Now I’m not saying that the people working there are not compassionate ( I have family members who work in both fast food and restaurants), but it’s a job to them. They’re not focused on truly nourishing and blessing the individuals who come there to eat. There definitely isn’t the love and compassion going into each meal at such a place, as there would be at home, or a friend’s or family member’s home.

  8. I enjoyed this post but I did take exception to one piece – “This is something that many children (or husbands) in the United States do not experience in our day and age as more and more mothers depend upon those outside the home (who have no sense of compassion) to feed them.”

    I do not believe this is really a fair or accurate statement. And I do realize that you say many and not all. The statement implies that those who babysit, run daycares, teach or other forms of watching our children have no compassion in regard to the food they provide or the guidance they offer. Why would I, a person who does work outside the home, send my children to someone I did not trust to support my beliefs or my feelings on feeding them properly?

    What hurts me more – from my perspective – is that the statement implies that those mothers who must work outside the home or who through the Lord’s gentle hand have been guided to work outside the home are not compassionate. That it is in some way wrong to work outside the home. That we do not support our husbands. That we do not provide our children the best possible home life we can. We eat real food, we pray, we worship, we love. And we do it in the way the Lord has guided us to do so.

    • Sharon Kaufman says:

      @Lissa,
      Hi Lissa,

      Please forgive me for saying what I did in a way that offended you. I was not at all thinking of moms such as yourself. There are many such mothers, wonderful and compassionate, like you in my church and I minister to them however I can. I know that there are many mothers who, as you said, “through the Lord’s gentle hand have been guided to work outside the home”. I recognize that not all moms can be at home even though that is the sphere they prefer and pray for the day when they can come home.

      If you are compassionate toward your children in this way, please exclude yourself from my statement. It was not about you. And please do not feel like you have to defend yourself in any way.

      You may be surprised that if you knew me personally (and many women like me), you would never feel condemned in my presence, but welcomed and loved. I teach evening bible studies to women in my church specifically so that working women can attend. I really do have a heart for them, knowing that they love their families and are doing them good everyday in every way possible, sometimes even more conscious to this end than many mothers who stay at home (please SAHMs do not take exception!).

      What was in my mind when I wrote what I did was women who choose career over raising their children, who aggressively climb the cooperate ladder and leave family in the dust. I was also thinking of women who never consider what their families eat and throw anything and everything prepared by the compassionateness food industry in front of them. I was thinking of someone I know who, even though they’ve been told by doctors that certain foods are harmful for their child (the child has suffered seizures that doctors have linked to certain foods), because there is no planning, that child is given the very foods that cause her more physical harm. Recently I heard that 25% of children in America are undernourished. Many of those children suffer because their parents spend any money that comes in on drugs, alcohol, etc.

      The key to my statement was “who have no sense of compassion”. But again, Lissa, I apologize for having not more clearly defined what I was thinking.

      Sharon K.

  9. Sharon Campbell says:

    This was a lovely post. I have seen the beginning of that kitchen blessing before, but didn’t see an author, either. I wonder if you could google it to find her.

  10. i need to view my kitchen more as a ministry… i love preparing and serving good food but need to take it a step further. i love the poem you shared. thanks for a great post and much food for thought. :)

  11. Absolutely! When I got married I looked ahead at those 365 days a year/meals 3X a day and groaned. It took me some time, but eventually I saw every breakfast, lunch, or dinner prepared as a gift of love. As such, whether I prepare it or someone else – there is no complaining allowed. So often food is seen as something we can express ingratitude for; but if you recognize the personal hands and those of the Lord that provided it, there is no room for anything but thanks.

  12. Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing.
    My kitchen is definitely my ministry. The Lord has blessed me with the abilty to cook and create food and gave me a passion for it. It is my calling, it is my role and it is my pleasure to be in the kitchen as much as possible.

    Blessings!

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