We gathered in beautiful sunshine, shedding coats, sweaters and jackets. A warm September morning – a very welcome start to our look at the importance of blessing others. Grayden talked about John O’Donohue’s book Benedictus – A Book of Blessings.
He read part of the introduction for us. The parts that really stuck me were;
“A blessing is not a sentiment; it is a gracious invocation where the human heart pleads with the divine…A blessing can open doors to healing and transformation… When a blessing is invoked, it changes the atmosphere…It would be lovely if we could rediscover our power to bless each other…Always bless in the name and spirit of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the subtle presence and secret energy behind every blessing.”
I arise today:
Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.
May I live this day:
Compassionate of heart,
Gracious in word,
Courageous in thought,
Generous in love.
Words of blessing from the Bible.
Numbers: ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace’
Psalms: The Lord remembers us and will bless us.
May you be blessed by the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
May God be gracious to us and bless us, and make his face to shine upon us.
Blessed is the one who has regard for the weak.
Blessed are those who maintain justice.
Romans: The same Lord is the Lord of all and richly blesses all who call upon him.
James: Blessed is the one who perseveres.
Wisdom sayings of Jesus from Matthew:
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
We read this beautiful John O’Donohue blessing – asking each other what some of the verses were saying
Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the music of laughter break through your soul.
As the wind wants to make everything dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.
Like the freedom of the monastery bell,
May clarity of mind make your eyes smile.
As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.
As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May a sense of irony give you perspective.
As time remains free of all that it frames,
May fear or worry never put you in chains.
May your prayer of listening deepen enough
To hear in the distance the laughter of God.
Prayer using blessing stones
Our task for the morning was to write a blessing on a stone for the park and the people who visit, or take the stone away for someone.
We also wrote blessing for each other – each one of us was blessed by someone in the group.
The bread and wine of Blessing.
This is the bread and wine of blessing
This is the bread and wine where everyone can come to receive
This is the bread and wine for those who haven’t met Jesus yet
This is the bread and wine of belonging
This is the bread and wine of acceptance
This is the bread and wine of wholeness
This is the bread and wine of justice and generosity
This is the bread and wine of our community
This is the bread and wine of Jesus, our Lord
This indeed is the bread and wine of blessing.
Inspired by Jonny Baker
A Blessing for Third Space
May the blessing of God fall on our community,
May it be a safe place.
Full of understanding and acceptance.
Where you can be as you are.
May this place be one of discovery,
Discovery of the love of God,
The peace of Jesus and
The transforming power of the Holy Spirit
Where all can emerge
To deepen and refine
Their knowledge of your kingdom. Amen
May we all receive blessing upon blessing. And may we realise our power to bless and encourage each other.
A BLESSING. By JOHN O’DONOHUE, from ‘Benedictus – A Book of Blessings’