TAKING IT OUTDOORS
Will you bless my house?
The request came from a friend who was about to move into her first “owned” home.
I didn’t grow up in a tradition that blessed stuff. It was seen as trivial. It also revealed a theological bifurcation of the world into sacred and secular, and thus assigned house blessing to the secular side of things. Which was interpreted as a cheapening of the Gospel by the unholy attention to such worldly stuff. Or so we were taught.
Since beginning this church plant I have had the opportunity to bless other things as well – dogs and Christmas trees. When I read what the Bible had to say about animals and how we treat them, it became apparent to me that I had not understood how important they are to God.
The idea of blessing a house is a delightful idea to me. Where else do people spend as much time as in their houses? A house also has some interesting parallels to a person’s interior life: kitchens and spiritual food, living rooms and hospitality, bedrooms and sexuality, bathrooms and purity. You get the idea.
House Blessings were not included in my course work in school. Fellow pastors didn’t talk about it either. So I went online to look for models. A copy of the ceremony I created may be found at this URL. It also has a recipe for anointing oil and some additional notes.
The experience of blessing my friend’s house taught me a few lessons. The first was that life is best looked at as a whole – not secular and spiritual. So everything is an opportunity to include God and talk about God. It also gives an opportunity to find out what folks find to be holy and significant in life. How good to be able to join them in that conversation.
A second lesson I learned is that joining with folks in these holy moments gets you invitations in other places as well. My friend will talk to her friends about the experience. The idea then becomes planted in their minds and their future conversations. “Hey, you know what Suzy just did?”
I recommend joining rather than separating. The Good News flourishes when it is taken outdoors into the wide world of human life.