God Is In: Celebrating Presence

Link to Bulletin

                                                      Sermon August 21, 2022

      Today, we conclude our series on Celtic Spirituality by celebrating our heightened sense of God’s presence in all things, in all people, and in all times. Over these weeks, we have been reminded of the ways in which God blesses us through each moment of our days and within all of creation.  Blessings are there in the joyous times and perhaps most importantly, in the times when we are low or struggling or suffering.  In all of the messiness of human life, our God is walking with us surrounding us with compassion and light.  Our readings today remind of the connectedness of all things.  Psalm 139 speaks about God knowing us in the deepest parts of our soul and in the moments of each day.  God knows us intimately and loves us unconditionally.  Our lovely prayer from the Ute people speaks of the ways in which all of nature teaches us important lessons in stillness and suffering, humility and courage, regeneration and kindness.  Let us pray, O Holy of Holies, be with us in these moments; make your Presence known among us; open our hearts and souls to Your voice speaking to us in the blessings of our days.  We thank you for all you are among and within us.  Amen.

Our friend, John O’Donohue, has written several books in which he weaves in the ethos of Celtic Spirituality.  As one raised in the northwest Connemara region of the Emerald Isle, he has shared the beauty and complexity of this spirituality with many who have enjoyed his writing over the years.  In the Introduction to his book, To bless the Space Between Us, he shares some beautiful and eloquent thoughts on blessing which I would like to share today. 

And now, I invite you to pause in the stillness of this holy place to reflect upon blessing in your own life.  What does it mean to live our lives in blessedness?  What insights have you gained over these weeks and in the intimacy of your own hearts about God’s presence in your life?

On the insert in your bulletins, I have included a page on which to share some thoughts in writing about where and when you have most felt the blessings of the Holy.  My hope is that we have all developed a deeper appreciation of God’s presence in all things, in all people, in all times. What might it mean to live our lives in blessedness?

(Pause for quiet reflection, invitation to share with someone near you, then with the church as a whole)

Let us pray…

Creator God, for all these things and more, we give you thanks.

Open our eyes to see your blessings in the world around us, on the good days and the bad, in the familiar places and the new, through every trial we face and every victory we claim. Bless to us this day and all our days, Amen.