Monthly Worship Theme
Entering summer and the theme of blessing after a month on creativity reminds me of John O’Donohue’s lovely book on blessing, “To Bless the Space Between Us,” in which he guides us to recall our capacity to bless one another. Once we accept that the world did not begin with each of us, nor will it end with anyone of us, we can perhaps appreciate that there is something greater than any of our individual lives to which we also belong. People who orient themselves to that fundamental connectedness then see living as an act of creative service as they hear the world’s call to participate fully in this life.
This is Unitarian Universalism. Our religion is not about helping us recover from our inherently sinful state. Rather our faith asks us to remember the wholeness of life. We need one another. It is too easy to slip into a myopic preoccupation with one’s own life. It is too easy to accept a narrative of powerlessness. It is too easy to settle for surface conversations.
Blessing asks us to make space for the possibility that we can and do make a difference in each other’s lives. It asks us broaden our perspective. Blessing is being fully present to the wholeness of what is present. Words of blessing are not flowery and doctrinal. They are robust and come from a depth of knowing that sometimes we can see or hold for another what they cannot. In blessing another, we offer the gift of a possibility beyond what the blessed dare to imagine.
To be sure, blessing isn’t just what we can offer each other. It is that which comes to us not as something we earn or deserve, but that we could never repay. Things like vision or hearing or physical abilities or musical talent or the capacity to understand or learn. In this way, blessing asks us to pay attention. By doing so, we may begin to see life itself as generous. When we feel blessed and present to a life of generosity, it is difficult to indulge tendencies toward cynicism and stinginess. We want to share our blessings.
What a great way to kick off the summer. Let us recognize our blessings and bless one another.