I was told…many moons ago…by my history teacher, that when someone sneezed people would say ‘Bless You’ because there was nothing that could be done for you as you probably had the plague. Later on, another History teacher told me that it wasn’t true and that we say ‘Bless You’ because as we sneeze, we are vulnerable to evil spirits entering the body…either way, there was nothing more that could be done.
I wonder what you grew up thinking about why we say ‘Bless You’. Of course it has been shortened from God Bless You.
But what an amazing thing we do and an amazing thing that we pass on to others: Our blessings. As a Priest it is always my privilege to bless others, being a link from Christ blessing his followers, so that they could bless the first Bishops and so I can pass that blessing on to others. As a follower of Jesus, connecting people to the God that wants to bless them as they do life.
And sometimes blessing others, passing on our blessing, giving our blessing can feel like the only thing we can do.
When someone is unwell, or stuck or far away or alone. When the world feels big and cold and super huge, our blessing and our love is sometimes the only thing we feel we can give. But of course our blessing, our love is enough.
At weddings, there is a popular reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. It speak of a perfect love, a love offered by God and a love perfected in the person of Jesus. But the passage begins that many things are amazing qualities to have - faith that can move mountains, words that can move people, knowledge, understanding, the ability to receive messages from God about the future – But if I have no love then we are nothing, our efforts are nothing and our powers are nothing. For love is everything. Love bears all things, believes all things and endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13)
But as a picture we have at home declares to us when we see it: Love makes things possible not easy.
So today why not spend some time thinking up ways that you could bless others and show them your love: writing a message, sending a letter of love and a message of hope and blessing, calling someone or going out of your way to speak to someone and let them know how grateful you are that you know them – that is your blessing to others.
Share the love that you have, the love that you have been given: Do something nice for someone, an Act of Random Kindness as a popular film once put it. Smile, wave, clap on a Thursday, leave a gift on a doorstep, offer a prayer. The thing about love is that the more we share it, the more it grows.
May you feel loved today, appreciated today, worth your weight in Gold today.
May you be loved and supported and blessed today.
May you share all that you have and all that others have blessed you with today so that God might be seen in all that you do today.
and May God Bless You today.