Mother Elisabeth Sinclair
Aug 26, 2021
A few years ago, good friends of mine from South Africa, who were living in Kansas City, asked me to officiate a house blessing for them...
A few years ago, good friends of mine from South Africa, who were living in Kansas City, asked me to officiate a house blessing for them. I borrowed a beautiful interactive liturgy from the New Zealand Prayer Book. Dozens of people who had helped this family acclimate from S. Africa to the U.S. crowded into doorways throughout the house. We expressed our thanksgivings and intercessions for the peace and wellbeing of the physical house and our friends living in it.
When King Solomon, who was David and Bathsheba’s son, completed the construction of the temple and brought the Ark of the Covenant into it, he and the people of Israel conducted a “house blessing” over the temple. They asked God to establish the temple as a holy place, from where God might listen to his people and forgive them. Then, Solomon asked something that has significance for us at Christ Church, where people from around the world gather to meet with God and each other:
“…[W]hen a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name —for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm—when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house, then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and so that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.”
Some of you participated in Christ Church’s “house blessing” and asked God to make it a place where many stories would be told of God’s great name, mighty hand, and outstretched arm; a place where people from around the world would continue to come because they have heard of God’s magnificence and love. “Regard our plea…, O Lord [our] God, heeding the cry and the prayer that [we pray] to you today; that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house…”. 1 Kings 8:28