I’ve been thinking a lot this week, leading up to my ordination to priesthood, about blessing. I have thought about being blessed by others and ways I might become a blessing. I have thought a lot about my placement here at St Peter’s, and the many ways the people of this community bless me.
In my time here, I have received many gifts – abundantly, unexpectedly, and beautifully. I have received avocados, bananas, persimmons, and starfruit on my desk ; I have received saved plates of food from coffee hour; I have received notes and cards of encouragement; I have received homemade pumpkin bread and curries; I have received lei; I have been blessed by the people of this place.
Alongside those tangible things, those things so generously given and shared with me, I have also been the recipient of less tangible things.
There is an older parishioner, who, when she is wheeled out of the sanctuary, blesses me by taking my hands in hers, raising them to her face, and kissing them. There is an acolyte, who, when passing the peace, raises his hands and says, “praise the Lord!”. There are people who, despite how random my Adult Forum topic may be, show up and are ready to discuss and go with whatever I throw out. There are parishioners who, week by week, faithfully come to Bible study, often giving me something to think about for my sermon.
The church is made up of these individuals, yes – but it is also a place of community. The community here has blessed me with warmth, laughter, and smiles. Last week, I was blessed by the children who came up for the chidlren’s message – I had a message about Elf on the shelf, and two of our kids brought up their own elves – their participation and willingness to go with me in the message I gave was a blessing.
Last week, I went to sing some Christmas carols at one of the rehab centers, with the Hospice Hawaii Choir. As I sang, I smiled – and I noticed some of the residents smiling back at me. I think, sometimes, that is a small way to become a blessing – simply to smile. To allow light to shine, not necessarily from you, but through you – allowing yourself to become a vessel for God to become incarnate again in this world.
I have been blessed, gifted, with many examples of this God-bringing by those who I serve – I hope I can manifest it for others.