A blessing for a new beginning

This day,
Like all days,
Is an opportunity for
A new beginning.

May you have the courage to plunge
Into the wrestling and wonder
Of the formation of fresh life.

It will not be easy.
As the saying goes, nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

First, the seed must get buried.
Once deep in the ground,
The seed must wait in silence. 
Until the day comes that it cracks.
And becomes broken enough
For something new to come forth from inside. 
The seedling.
Once that fragile seedling of life emerges,
It must push its way through darkness,
Before emerging into the light.
Only then can it grow the buds of the future, 
As the sun and rain nourish what was once the seed
Into what it has always been meant to become.

May you know that the fight for life is worth the cost.
That wrestling is where your strength is built.

May you experience the deep goodness
Of the Creator’s presence with you.
The God who breathed being into humans in the first days,
Is asking you to trust.

May your heart quiver with excitement, 
Knowing that no matter how old you are
Or how you have lived before this day,
It is never to late to begin anew.
The seeds in you will never expire.

May you experience the hope
Sculpted into your essence.
May you know the God
Who never tires of expanding life.

May you breathe. 
May you wrestle.
May you desire.
May you dream. 

the seeds in you will never expire

One way I experienced new life recently is through the experience of preaching a sermon at Genesis Covenant Church. I have had a long wrestling with teaching, and have often stepped onto the stage as someone other than myself. This experience was different. God helped me be me and bring what God had given me. It was a beautifully redemptive experience. If you want to listen, you can do so here.

Comment

A Blessing for a New Day

image.jpg

Inhale.
Breathe deep the life of a new day.

As energy surges through all that has rested in the darkness,
May the light of morning awaken you to hope.

May grace find its way to your heart,
Releasing you to an expansive love,
Unprotected and free.

May love make its way to your brain,
Breaking open your thought loops of not-enough-ness,
With the deep knowledge of your cherishedness. 

May your cherishedness travel to your hands,
Allowing you to embrace others
In the same way you have been held.

May peace go to your gut,
Calming the churning insides of fear,
And creating space to feel the difficulties of life
Without letting their acids get the best of you.

May wonder grab hold of your ears,
Opening them to the delight of laughter
That is dancing its way around this world. 

May courage push through the tired muscles of your legs, all the way to your feet,
Giving you strength to turn from the regrets of yesterday
And walk expectantly towards new challenges,
Bringing all of yourself along for the ride.

May desire reach your eyes,
Giving you vision to see past the illusions of what you think you want,
To the inmost longings for that which really matters.

May beauty journey to your tongue, 
Giving you a taste of eternal contentedness
And a hunger to create more.

May the Spirit who hovered over the beginning of all things
Like a mama bird protecting her young,
Speak new life to your soul
And carry you into the future.

 --------------------

I have been reading the lovely book To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O'Donohue. In it he says,
 "Despite all the darkness, human hope is based on the instinct that at the deepest level of reality, some intimate kindness holds sway. This is the heart of blessing."

It is a beautiful work that is inspiring me to speak words of blessing to those around me. Whatever your day holds, in some small way, I pray these words of mine remind you of the intimate kindness of the Divine. 

Comment

How can we bless God?

What does it mean to praise God?“Praise” is a common word in the church world. At this point in my life, it is a word heavy with the baggage of the last fifteen years of my experiences.

Praise the Lord, my soul;     all my inmost being, praise his holy name. – Psalm 103:1 (NIV)

On some days, it enters my mind with pleasant memories of mountaintop worship experiences. Other days it comes in quietly, unnoticed in its ordinariness. Still other days, it crashes through with questions about what kind of egotistical God demands adoration from His people.

psalm 103
psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,     and all that is within me,     bless his holy name! – Psalm 103:1 (ESV)

What does it mean to bless God?

For me, “bless” is a lighter word than “praise.” One of the main things it comes with is a question: how can we bless God? Isn’t it He who blesses us?

I was in a yoga session recently that ended with a blessing. We were lying on our backs, breathing deeply, when the instructor came to each of us and tenderly rubbed oil on our foreheads. It was personal, and the perfect close to our time together.

The first time the word “bless” appears in the Scriptures is in the creation narrative of Genesis. After forming humans, God looks at his beloveds, and blesses them. It is an intimate and holy moment.

Praise can sound like it’s more about the receiver than the giver. As if it doesn’t matter who is in the room, or what is going on with them, because the focus is on the worthiness of the Recipient to garner worship.

But a blessing, now that is personal.

A blessing says, “based on what I know of you, and what I have to offer, here’s how I want to show my love and affection.”  In order to bless someone, we have to notice him. Notice what he is good at, notice what he has done for us, notice the beauty of our relationship. Blessings can happen in a group, but their significance is intimately attached to the heart of each individual who is present.

So what does it mean to bless God? Many times, the Bible points to something pretty simple: to remember Him.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,     and forget not all his benefits, - Psalm 103:2

To remember God is to stay connected to Him throughout our days and throughout our lives. To notice the way He is with us, to see the way He has blessed us, to understand the goodness of His character being displayed over and over and over again. To bless God is to share these noticings with Him. Not because God is a narcissistic power-monger, looking for His people to tell Him why He is so awesome, but because recounting our gifts is the kind of intimate blessing we can offer to a God we love.

And over, and over, and over, and over again, what the Story of God calls us to remember and recount most often is this:

The Lord is merciful and gracious,     slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. –Psalm 103:8

That when God passed in front of Moses to proclaim who He was, that this is how our God chose to describe Himself.

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, - Exodus 34:6

We bless God when we notice the ways He shows this description of Himself to be true in our lives. Maybe that’s also what it really means to praise Him.

MATT REDMAN - TEN THOUSAND REASONS (BLESS THE LORD) - OFFICIAL VIDEO HD from Yodo Creative on Vimeo.

That was my reflection on Psalm 103. Link up with your own reflection below. Stop back next week when the Psalms Journey heads to Psalm 104.

// <![CDATA[ document.write('<scr' + 'ipt type="text/javascript" src="http://www.inlinkz.com/cs.php?id=429636&' + new Date().getTime() + '"><\/script>'); // ]]</p></div>