Tag Archives: Blessing

So, how’s your Easter weekend shaping up?

I should be in the kitchen prepping a feast for all the fam coming over later. I should be facing the agonising decision of which of my fancy clothes to wear for Easter morning church – because just like Christmas, if I’m not overdressed on Easter Sunday is it even Easter?

The Feast of Good Fridays Past
The Feast of Good Fridays Past

And then on Sunday I should be celebrating with my people before Feast Round 2 at my Nan’s – roast lamb, rice n peas, curry goat, fried chicken and crunchy potatoes. ALL THE GOOD THINGS AND SECOND ONLY TO CHRISTMAS DINNER.

Instead, celebrations have to happen via zoom. Family are only a few miles away but in this lockdown life they may as well be across an ocean. And I’m probs having lentils for dinner. No roast lamb. No fried chicken and no crunchy potatoes [insert all the crying face emojis here].

in the context of, you know, a global crisis, this is not a big deal. But even so, I’m just a little bit broken hearted at this Easter in a time of Corona.

Good thing Easter isn’t actually about the food or traditions but instead the gateway to life in all its fullness. A life that promises peace and hope and blessing through every circumstance, including, as hard as it might seem to believe right now, through global crisis and escalating death tolls.

Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5 v 4.

I never really understood this – how is it comforting when you’re can’t breathe, can’t think, on the floor in the depths of grief? But then I read this:

Maybe Jesus was simply blessing the ones around him that day who didn’t otherwise receive blessing, who had come to believe that, for them, blessings would never be in the cards. I mean, come on, doesn’t that just sound like something Jesus would do? Extravagantly throwing around blessings as though they grew on trees?" Nadia Bolz-Weber A Benediction

Extravagantly throwing around blessings as though they grew on trees [insert all the heart emojis here]. And somehow 'Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted' sounded more like hope and a promise.

I'm pretty sure we could all do with a bit more hope right now. There is grace here for all of us in this Easter in a time of Corona.

Blessed are those who mourn for you shall be comforted.

Blessed are the fundraisers facing gaps in charity income, for the funds shall come in.

Blessed are the furloughed for your days shall be filled with good things.

Blessed are the huggers for you shall receive allllll the hugs again.

Blessed are those for whom staying at home is not safe for you shall find security.

Blessed are those who are worried sick for you shall recieve peace.

Blessed are those missing sport for one day it shall return (My family have replaced all football discussions with random chat about cats. My father simply cannot handle this but I'm pretty sure its a just retribution for letting football monopolise family gatherings all my life).

Blessed are those trying not to freak out over how this will hit the developing world, for God will (please) have mercy and richer nations will look beyond their borders.

Blessed are the homeschooling parents for you shall figure out how to do long division.

Blessed are those making it through on the 80% for you shall receive all you need.

Blessed are the unemployed for you shall work again.

Blessed are those who plans and celebrations have been so unexpectedly interuppted, for there shall be space to re-make them.

Blessed are those struggling with the uncertainty of it all, for you shall find stability.

Blessed our are hospital caterers and cleaners and nurses and doctors and administrators and everyone else in the NHS that keeps it all going, for your people love you.screenshot_20200410-1049174866719997024794598.png

Blessed are the breadmakers for you shall perfect your sourdough (and when you do please let me know how because mine have always been a disaster).

Blessed are the small business owners for your customers will return.

Blessed are the stockpilers for you shall have peace of mind (and pasta for dinner).

Blessed are those having to remind their housemates that dogs are for life and not just for lockdown and even if that wasn’t true Battersea dogs home is closed at the moment so we can’t go adopt one right now anyway.

Blessed are the church leaders figuring out how to guide their people through a pandemic, for you shall recieve wisdom.

Blessed are those having to remind everyone to go on mute in group video calls for you shall have good audio quality.

Blessed are those having to teach their parents how to use new tech, for you shall receive patience in abundance.

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Blessed are the tired and lonely and afraid, for you shall be filled with life-giving radiance.

Blessed are the please-can-life-just-go-back-to-normal-ers, for this season will pass.

Blessed are those praying for the first time in years, for God is listening.

Easter speaks hope that all these good things are possible.

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. Matthew 5 v 3 - 9 The Message

Friends, Beloved Reader, you’re blessed when you’re figuring out how to live through a pandemic, for God is with you.

Much grace and peace and virtual hugs this Easter x x

A Francisan blessing:

May God bless us with a restless discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
So that we may seek truth boldly and love deeply within our heart

May God bless us with holy anger
At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
So that we may tirelessly work for justice, freedom and peace among all people

May God bless us with the gift of tears
To shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation or the loss of all they cherish,
So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and transform their pain into joy

May God bless us with enough foolishness
To believe we really can make a difference in this world
So that we are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done

There's just something about blessing and benediction that gives me goosebumps. I think its got something to do with witnessing a love that calls down all the good things from heaven on behalf of someone else. So when I read this take on the beatitudes this week I wept - its just too beautiful. By Nadia Bolz-Weber:

Because, what if the beatitudes aren’t about a list of conditions we should try and meet to be blessed. What if these are not virtues we should aspire to but what if… the sermon on the mount is all about Jesus’ seemingly lavish blessing of the world around him. So maybe Jesus is actually just blessing people, especially the people who never seem to receive blessings otherwise.

I mean, come on, doesn’t that just sound like something Jesus would do? Extravagantly throwing around blessings as though they grew on trees? Because I like to imagine Jesus here standing among us saying:

Blessed are the agnostics.

Blessed are they who doubt, who aren't sure, who can still be surprised.

Blessed are those who are spiritually impoverished and therefore not so certain about everything that they no longer take in new information.

Blessed are those who have nothing to offer.

Blessed are the pre-schoolers who cut in line at communion.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. You are of heaven, and Jesus blesses you.

Blessed are they for whom death is not an abstraction.

Blessed are they who've buried their loved ones, for whom tears could fill an ocean.

Blessed are they who've loved enough to know what loss feels like.

Blessed are the mothers of the miscarried.

Blessed are they who don't have the luxury of taking things for granted any more.

Blessed are they who can't fall apart because they have to keep it together for everyone else.

Blessed are those who still aren't over it yet.

Blessed are those who mourn. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

Blessed are those who no one else notices: the kids who sit alone at middle school lunch tables, the laundry guys at the hospital, the sex workers, and the nightshift street sweepers.

Blessed are the forgotten.

Blessed are the closeted.

Blessed are the unemployed, the unimpressive, the under represented.

Blessed are the teens who have to figure out how to hide the new cuts on their arms.

Blessed are the meek. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

Blessed are the wrongly accused, the ones who never catch a break, the ones for whom life is hard, for Jesus chose to surround himself with people like you.

Blessed are those without documentation.

Blessed are the ones without lobbyists.

Blessed are foster kids and special ed kids and every other kid who just wants to feel safe and loved.

Blessed are those that make terrible business decisions for the sake of people.

Blessed are the burned out social workers and the overworked teachers and the pro bono case takers.

Blessed are kind-hearted football players and fundraising trophy wives.

Blessed are kids who step between the bullies and the weak.

Blessed are those who hear they're forgiven.

Blessed are the merciful, for they totally get it. 

Full post from Nadia here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber/2014/11/some-modern-beatitudes-a-sermon-for-all-saints-sunday/

May God bless us with a restless discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
So that we may seek truth boldly and love deep within our heart

May God bless us with holy anger
At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
So that we may tirelessly work for justice, freedom and peace among all people

May God bless us with the gift of tears
To shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation or the loss of all they cherish,
So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and transform their pain into joy

May God bless us with enough foolishness
To believe we really can make a difference in this world
So that we are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done

Umm, so when you buy your own domain and launch a new blog an' all you're supposed to announce it to world and do a song and dance about it before you start posting stuff. Yeh, well, that never happened - I don't like to be conventional you know.

But anyway, here we are. Life in Exile.

Goodbye Shoreditch. Hello Zone 6. Also known as The Country/Back Beyond Yonder/The Bush/Exile.

Gone are the bright lights and convenience of Zone 1 life. Gone are my Bengali neighbours, East enders, hipsters, tourists and street art. Gone is my Eastling Crew - I miss you, let's hang out sometime.

Instead I have to walk in the dark when I get home late and we all know that the country is where the crazy axe men are hiding out - I miss you bright street lights and busy roads.  And  now my nearest corner shop is a 7 minute walk away! Can you believe it?! What am I supposed to do when my parents have forgotten to buy milk?

I’m surrounded by 2.4 lifestyle families and pavements with grass verges - which let me tell you is the most annoying thing when you have your very best shoes on and to avoid getting mud on them you have to take a flying leap into the car.

But I do get to enjoy being almost the only commuter that wears bright colours, hi-tops and reads children’s fiction on the way to work. I don’t like the fact that I’m almost the only one who seems happy to be alive - wake up people, life is for living.

This is life in exile. There’s lots to be learned. Come join the party, it's gonna be pure jokes.