Bless You

Blessed: ‘of enjoying happiness; or, bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune.’ (Merriam-Webster)

We were in a restaurant recently. My wife, Rachel, sneezed. A waitress and a random customer said, ‘Bless you.’ We smiled. ‘Thank you.’ Rachel sneezed again…

‘Blessing’ a sneeze has been part of our culture for centuries. John Aubrey in his collection of customs and traditions titled ‘Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaism’ (1688) wrote:

‘We have a Custome, that when one sneezes, every one els putts off his hatt, and bowes, and cries God bless ye Sir. I have heard, or read a story that many yeares since, that Sneezing was an Epidemical Disease and very mortal, which caused this yet received Custome.’

I’m grateful that I’ve been blessed with good health… Does that mean if I’m sick I’m not blessed?

This morning I read Haggai in my Bible: ‘Until now the vine and the fig-tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit. From this day on I will bless you.’ (2:19)

I’m grateful that I’ve been blessed with sufficient food… Does that mean if I’m hungry I’m not blessed?

Yesterday I read this blessing sung at the end of some parent and toddler groups (to the tune of ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’)

Bless my eyes & bless my nose,

Bless my fingers & my toes,

Bless my tummy & my head,

Wide awake or safe in bed.

God bless every part of me.

Bless my home and family.

I’m grateful that I’ve been blessed with home and family… Does that mean without these I’m not blessed?

Musing… Jesus said: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit…’ ‘Blessed are those who mourn…’ ‘Blessed are the meek…’ ‘Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you…’ (Matthew 5)

This blessing isn’t about pleasure, happiness and good fortune. It’s not about health, food or family. It’s deeper, involving a strength, peace and assurance that’s present through the toughest times…

4 thoughts on “Bless You

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