John O'Donohue, in "To Bless the Space Between Us," says,
A Blessing is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal and strengthen...When we bless, we are enabled somehow to go beyond our present frontiers and reach into the source. A blessing awakens future wholeness."
On February 14, Celtic artist (and fellow meditator) Celeste Ray will join me and the musicians and people of First Church for a Celtic "Service of Blessing." This will begin our Lent as we welcome the Beatitudes, the Blessings that Jesus delivered in the Sermon on the Mount. The will serve as guideposts for our spiritual jouneying through life. As an exercise I have responded to these blessings with my own rendition, inspired by reading John O'Donohue and in my own desire to hear them anew. So, here you are:
As Jesus was greeted by crowds of people, he climbed a mountain. At the top, he sat down with his disciples and began to teach. Blessing them, he said:
In the barrenness of your longing, you taste heaven’s riches.
There is comfort in your broken heart.
Open to life you are content with who you are and what is, you walk free on life’s path.
In your hunger and thirst, here, in your very desire for righteousness, you are filled.
You will find mercy in your mercy.
When the heart and mind are sound, the world opens to you.
When you are at peace, others benefit, together we journey home.
Scorned and reviled, persecuted, you find strength in God.
In his teaching, Jesus begins with blessing. Through blessing Jesus points to the greater fullness that is ours in our embrace of life as it presents itself to us. Sometimes the teaching is upside down, seeming to point us in directions that we would never consider and it is always a surprise/ In his teaching Jesus opens to the abundance of life present even in the less pleasurable moments of life.