Todays service at North Shore was a baptism, three brothers were baptised, and the older brother who has already been baptised asked for a blessing and helped to pour the water into the font. It was a lovely and lively morning, the children from the baptism party and others helped me to tell the story of the feeding of the 5,000, and we saw 5 slices of bread, a can of tuna and a can of sardines miraculously transformed into bowls of haribo and plates of biscuits, enough to feed the hungry crowd of a congregation. The left overs were equally strange as the children went back into the crowd and found pot-noodles, cans of beans and other things that have a habit of turning up just when we need them! Week after week North Shore sees a miracle of feeding those who come, again and again when we have reached the end of ourselves we find that God has answered our prayers and the resources come in! Pot Noodles are delivered via Amazon from Ireland, a lady cycles in with a back-pack loaded with beans, these and other stories continue to amaze and encourage us! We are blessed richly by the generosity of others.
One of my frequent prayers is that we might be blessed in order that we can be a blessing, once again we see God step into our lives when we are running on empty, we give and receive hugs, prayers and encouragement. Today I was encouraged and blessed by a 5 year old boy!
It is my practice after a baptism to offer blessings using the baptismal water as a symbol of God’s love, with the wonderful words from our liturgy “All this for you”, ringing in our ears I offer a sign of God’s love and a prayer for blessing to any who might want to come forward. Today as often a queue of people responded, many were from the baptism party and came with a real intention to meet with God.
When the queue had come to an end I moved back to the lectern to pray, as I did I felt a tug on my jacket and Jay was looking at me with a serious expression. “You haven’t had a blessing” he said, “I’ll do you one” so he took my hand and we walked back to the font where I knelt and he dipped his finger into the water, made the sign of the cross on my head and blessed me. He laid his hand on my head and said “blessing”, it was a precious moment, and the congregation, and I suspect all of heaven burst into a round of applause.
I often find myself blessed by the surprises of ministry but today was really special, and I am grateful for the openness of a small boy, who did not hold back, and showed me the love of God in a special way.
One of our stewards Linda with an amazing gift of shoes, an answer to prayer at a time we had run out entirely.