Mind your manners

I was asked to serve at a posh dinner in the role of butler.  This is not an uncommon request for me, as I regard etiquette and traditional table service as a passion of mine, as my good friends know well.  It is true that hospitality is a ministry of the Spirit and the body of Christ.  As one church put it, “one must always extend a sense of welcome to others and make them feel at home. Such qualities are a blessing, especially to the stranger in our midst.”  So then, by extension I would say that manners carry equal weight in good spirituality.  Manner and etiquette are not a means to separate class or qualify who is in and out; for regardless of the rules, the primary purpose of manners is the same… graciousness. Emily Post so eloquently states that, “manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others.” I would agree, and further that by saying that this awareness is what allows us to reach out to others, a sort of empathy of the spirit.  And sincere “gracious living” becomes the very model of Christ’s love.  So remember that kind manners really can provide a space for compassion and grace… no matter which fork you use.

Prayer – Lord, let me be mindful of the feelings of others and, wherever possible, help others feel comfortable, at ease and loved in your name.  Amen


3 thoughts on “Mind your manners

  1. That graciousness is also well summed up in the simple statement of Jesus to do onto others as you would have them do onto you. For me, it also means that I called to be neighbor to you and to see you and serve you as my neighbor.

  2. That grace and compassion you show also is a soothing balm to one who might not feel comfortable or overwhelmed or insecure at such a gathering, it is indeed a gift.

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