A few weeks ago, a friend asked me to offer a blessing for her new home. It’s something I’ve done numerous times over the years and an exercise I enjoy as people celebrate a fresh new start.
We typically begin in the entryway and invoke God’s blessings upon all who enter asking that theirs would be a place of love, warmth, peace, goodwill, safety, etc., etc. Depending upon the layout, we then move from room to room imagining the kinds of fruitful activities in each and asking specific blessings such as happy meals and good conversations in the kitchen; good sleep and new babies in the bedroom (if desired and appropriate) and all that goes along with that!! I pray that the living room would actually be a room that’s lived in and filled with life and vitality, on and on. It’s a ritual like so many other rituals but people report even years later how important it was and continues to be.
Occasionally I also do the same for the church. Beginning on the sidewalk, I pray for all who pass by our doors: coming from doctor’s offices, museums, on their way home or to work or wherever, rushing to get to the subway or crosstown bus. People on their way somewhere; coming from somewhere – happy, sad, tired, worried.
I move into the narthex remembering the many members and friends who cross the threshold seeking God’s love or forgiveness, grace and mercy, or a quiet space from the noise and clutter outside. I read the prayer cards and honor my commitment to pray for those who have written – the names and circumstances are often the same week after week but that’s okay. Just filling out the card is itself an act of faith.
I make my way throughout the building praying for our staff, the day school, children, and parents, youth theatre participants, seniors in the exercise class, even the people who rent our space because doing so brings in additional income and helps us reach our financial goals.
Would you join me today in praying for our Church and the House we share as the people of God at Park Avenue United Methodist? I am a firm believer that prayer changes things and God always listens and acts on our behalf. And if you ever want to join me in a Prayer Walk, please let me know as I am sure that you would be very good company.
Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend. And if by chance you missed last Sunday’s Confirmation service, I encourage you to go on our website and read or listen to the messages shared by Amber, Justin, Abraham, Samaya, Jack, and Tunji – WOW!
Grace and peace,