We started a new worship series yesterday entitled “Bless to Me.” It is based on the book, “Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings” by Beth A. Richardson. You can listen to sermon below or I’ve typed out the text below the video. I started the video just before the scripture reading.
“Bless to Me”
“Through the Day: Celebrating God’s Presence in Each Moment”
“From the rising of the sun” and all throughout our every 24 hours, God is with us. What if we saw our waking, the rituals of our getting up and getting out, the rhythms of our work, play, and rest, as rife with blessing? We are introduced this week to an ancient spirituality where the spirit of Christ resides all around us.
Would you please pray with me? May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all of our hearts and minds be acceptable to you, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.
I’m going to be really honest with you… I hate housework. Though I’ve spent most of my adult life at a “housewife” I’ve never been very good at it. In fact I was so bad at it, Shannon changed my title “stay at home mom” because I was better at playing with the kids than I was at the housework part. Oh, I wanted to be good at it but I just didn’t enjoy it and I was easily distracted from it.
As the kids got older, and started school (before we homeschooled) I really started working on this housework thing… I found a woman called the “Fly Lady” that helped me start to get control of things. She called it blessing my home. I liked that! It sounded less like a chore.
This worked for a while. I was never perfect at it but things were seldom out of control.
Then… we started homeschooling… we had stacks and piles every where… I would try to get control again and it would work for a while but… Then we moved… that was rough and getting unpacked took forever… like more than a year…. Then one day I went to Bible study and we read something that really hit me smack dab in the middle of my forehead.
“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Col. 3:17
It was a moment that I realized that I should even be thankful for housework and I should do it as if I’m doing it for God. As if God or Jesus was coming to visit.
You might think this means that I got really good at housework, but you would be very wrong! I’m still awful at it and I often find myself grumbling about it BUT this series has reminded me once again that God is in EVERYTHING. Spirit is with me in all I do.
As I have prepared for this series, I have opened my gratitude journal again and started to write in it and start each day with gratitude again. I’m looking for blessing the everyday rituals, the everyday mundane tasks.
We are going to spend the next several weeks looking into Celtic Spirituality. What can we learn from the people called Celts? Well, I hope that we will learn as Beth Richardson says, some of “their way of living – observing and celebrating, blessing and being blessed by the ordinary acts and encounters of life.” We will be using her book, “Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings” to guide us on our way.
Our world seems topsy turvy right now. Everything seems so out of sorts and honestly sometimes completely backwards of what it should be! My hope is that we can return to our spirituality to find our way forward, to draw closer our Maker and see all God as done in our world, all that God is doing in our lives.
I read an article this week about Celtic Spirituality by Trevor Miller. He wrote, “as we struggled to obey the call of God on our lives, as we attempted to respond to the questions ‘Who is it that you seek?’ ‘How then shall we live?’ ‘How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?’ as we researched an authentic Northumbrian spirituality, we discovered … rays of light in the darkness, coherence in the confusion that made sense of the nonsense within us and around us and gave us an understanding of our own spiritual journey in God.”
He continued to write, “The greatest discovery was that the heart of Celtic spirituality was simply living the life, following the Way, travelling the journey in the everyday ordinariness of life –the pain and the pleasure, the heartaches and the hopes, the disappointment and the dreams. This is of great importance because this is essentially what spirituality is.”
This is my hope for this 7 week journey, that we will find God and God’s blessings in the ordinariness of life. That as we continue to struggle through current times and issues, through all this craziness of pandemic, upcoming elections, struggles for social justice, that we will find “rays of light in the darkness, and coherence in the confusion.” That we will find the blessings of God all around us and be a blessing to all others in return. Amen.