Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A House Blessing

A few days ago I led a service for The Blessing of a House for a couple of friends who have retired and moved to a new home.  Around fifty people gathered for the service (which was followed by great food in their back garden!)  I have never conducted such a thoughtfully prepared service for a house blessing, with service sheets for everyone to participate in readings and prayers.  In the past I have tended to lead a prayer or two in a new home rather informally.  But this was five star treatment that showed serious intent in this new beginning.   I loved some of the prayers, especially when everyone joined in asking God to bless different aspects of the house: the place of food, of books (oh yes!) of sleep, rooms of ease and comfort, room of guest ,concluding: 'Bless the Door to this house and be the Good Shepherd to all'.

One of the big challenges for our friends is the transition from very busy lives of full-time jobs into (semi-) retirement in their new home.  How difficult is that?  I guess some find it much easier to adjust than others.

During the service I made a few personal comments about our friends and God's promises for them.  And I also quoted from a section of Oswald Chambers' devotions that I had read the day before.  Chambers is reflecting on the Mount of Transfiguration and Peter's desire to build three tents on the mountain top for Jesus, Moses and Elijah.
The test of spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have the power to rise only, there is something wrong.  There must be power to descend.  The mountain is not the place for us to live for we were built for the valleys.  This is one of the hardest things to learn because we want repeated moments on the mount.
 Yes, it is hard to descend and particularly in the ageing process we have to learn this.  It is not that God will bless us any less!  Rather, we need to know that he will bless us in the valleys in less heady days. 

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