I had a neat thing happen to me while serving Communion this past Sunday. As people come forward I typically serve the bread and one of my deacons serves the wine. For those who have not been instructed or for those who choose not to receive the bread and wine, I offer a blessing. In this case it is typically children younger than 5th grade.
On Sunday I was serving communion as usual and offering a word of blessing for the children. For the blessing I place my hand on the person’s forehead and say, “The Lord guides you as a sheep of his own pasture.” And while making the sign of the cross on their forehead I say, “You are a beloved child of God“. On Sunday I gave this blessing to a child but when the adult behind this certain child approached me to receive the bread she said, “I want that” (referring to the blessing). She wasn’t refusing the bread…she just wanted both. So I gave her the bread and then gave her the blessing. She walked away with a big smile on her face.
I will never forget that phrase…”I want that“…it still makes smile 🙂 …and gives me hope. There are still people that desire to have God’s blessing on their lives. There are still people that value the words of promise that Jesus offers us. There are still people that want God’s guidance. Watching the news I sometimes wonder if allegiances are shifting from a dependence on God to a dependence on government. I don’t want to politicize a beautiful moment from worship but these are things that are weighing heavy on my heart recently.
Let’s, as a people of God, announce and proclaim a blessing upon all our leaders, hoping they are faithful to God’s call and responsive to God’s guidance. Let’s announce and proclaim a blessing upon ALL people who are searching for meaning.
I look forward to our next communion service. I look forward to inviting people to receive a blessing and I look forward to seeing how many people respond. In the mean time…I hold my hand out and say “The Lord guides YOU as a sheep of his own pasture” <making the sign of the cross> “YOU are a beloved child of God, Amen”