Newsletter Article

Blessing (Oct Newsletter)

by jpserrano on October 7, 2015 · 0 comments

Blessing Josh bird 10 2015

Since last year we’ve (Good Shepherd) done several blessings during our celebration of the liturgy on Sundays.  We’ve blessed bikes, chalk, backpacks, ashes, palms, people, and this month we are blessing our pets.  But, that’s not even the half what we could do.  The ELCA also publishes resources to bless new communion-ware, bells, organs, windows, paraments, vestments, houses, and more—there’s a lot of blessing going on.

 

I am partial to these kinds of rites because of what it means for us to bless.

 

Blessing doesn’t magically make something special.  When we as a community bless things we are committing them to God’s service.  The rite of blessing is meant to be a reminder that with this chalk, or backpack, or bike, whatever it is, we are receiving it from God, and using it in God’s service.

 

As a part of the blessing we first bring it before God with thanksgiving.  We acknowledge that this person, animal, or object is a gift from God.  We are saying that the blessing of God is the foundation for us in our living out our relationship with God and we are called to be a blessing to the world. When we pronounce God’s blessing, we are saying that something will  function for the good of creation.  Ultimately, with blessing we are reminded that we live purely by God’s grace, protection, and ask for favor. 

 

Often, we think of a division between spiritual and physical.  We attribute prayer, meditation, worship to the spiritual and work, play, and service to the physical.  But, those lines are only imaginary.  The physical activities we do are spiritual acts; the two are intimately intertwined.

 

Everything we do is spiritual.  

 

Blessings are a part of the Church’s rites of pastoral care.  Blessings are not sacraments, but they are a way for us to remind ourselves that there’s no division between the sacred and secular for the Christian.  In fact, we carry with us the sacred with us wherever we go.  Blessed objects remind us of that.

 

Christians are called to be a blessing in the world; to remind people of God’s love, to serve the marginalized, to be witnesses to grace, forgiveness, and charity.  We bless so often because we need a reminder that what we do for the world must first be done in us.

 

Peace.

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