Thursday, July 23, 2015

May You Be Blessed

A friend recently sent me the book May You Be Blessed by Kate Nowak. The author shares at the beginning of the book that she was standing in an empty aisle of a large chain store when suddenly she sneezed. Almost instantly, from the next aisle over she heard a voice call out, "Bless you," and then another, and another, and yet another. In the span of just a few seconds, she counted eleven different voices coming from every possible direction. Some said "God bless you", others used the word "gezundheit." All were blessing her.

Usually the phrase is no more than a courtesy. But on this particular day, in the first few moments following all those blessings, she says that she began to notice a difference in herself. There was a slight shift in perception that left her feeling more connected and empowered than she had in days.

To give a blessing is one of the most powerful and practical ways we have for reconnecting with each other. I vividly remember attending a camp conference as a teenager. The speaker for the camp stood next to me one day as we waited for the bell to ring signaling the okay to enter the dining room. As we stood together he put his hand on my head and said: "God bless you." That act made a profound impression on me and I did feel blessed.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could begin to focus on offering a blessing to one another in order to connect with each other and bring goodness and wholeness into our relationships? There is no one method to offer a blessing. A blessing can be a silent prayer "God, bless that person", or a spoken word which brings goodness. Mother Teresa has said: "When we are judging others, we have no time to love them." Let’s put our energy into loving one another and desiring the best for the other. When we are divided by pettiness we are not able to fully function as the Body of Christ.

The author, Kate Nowak, says that she doesn’t know for certain that her blessings have made a difference, but in her heart she thinks they have. And she does know they’ve made a difference in her. She writes: "Through this simple act of blessing I’ve been able to transform myself from being a worrier to a warrior for good."

"May we all come to live
in a world where everyone is blessed
by the presence of everyone else…
May we all come to know just how
beautiful such a world can be."

-Kate Nowak

May God bless you,
Rev. Bev Karr-Lyon

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Rest and Peace

Patient God, we need some time to rest, to sit quietly and listen to the beautiful sounds of the world. Forgive us when we are determined to crowd every moment of our lives with activity. Help us to find a quiet center with you where we can just relax and not try to get everything done as though life was some sort of a contest. Give us peace for a little while. Refresh our souls so that we can truly serve you, not out of exhaustion but out of enthusiasm.
Prayer of Confession for Sunday, July 19, 2015