And after a while, God decided it was time for the great crescendo of this building song of creation. God said: “Let’s make something in our image. And then, let’s ask them to join in the work of making more delightful stuff.” So God made us. And this time, good was too small a word. Delightful was too weak a thought. God said, “All of this I’ve made, now it is very good. All the stuff is good. It is not just delightful, it is jam packed with delight.” God theirself was overwhelmed with the embarrassing I-can’t-help-but-laugh kind of delight. God looked at us like Ron Swanson at Lil’ Sebastian and giggled with glee.
It’s not so much that God did something to bless this creation - it’s that God made it blessed. And God invited us into that work of making and blessing.
And...gosh...we just made it all so complicated.
And as much as we spread delight, we also spread harm. And so often the harm and delight are tied together light a rat king - seemingly inextricable from each other. So maybe we retreat to the wilderness: Let’s get to a place we complicated people haven’t touched to reconnect to delight. And that’s perfectly fine.
But! there is delight in our streets.
There is sacredness in our homes.
There is that of the divine in each of our neighbors even as there is potentially harm in each of our neighbors.
Here, in the mess we make of things, there is still delight.
We are still, at our created core, very delightful.
And the things we make, there is something of God’s delight hidden in there like Waldo: Once we find it, we can’t unsee it.
Recently, I found my old Waldo books. They are grimy, as people tend to make things. The pages are broken, as people tend to make things. But there’s still Waldo hiding in there. The crappy thing, though, is that someone (probably my know-it-all nine-year-old self) went and circled all the Waldo’s with a bright red crayon so now there’s no searching for Waldo. He’s just there. Obviously there. Unmistakably there.
At Our Common Table this summer, we want to be that jerk (my know-it-all nine-year-old self) who took your Waldo book and circled all the Waldo’s with a bright red crayon. We want to call out delight in our neighborhood and in our neighbors. And we believe that once we name this delight, this goodness, this blessedness, you’ll not be able to unsee it. We believe that when we see our sidewalks as holy, it will change the way we walk about town. We believe that when we see our children as little miracles, it will change the way we interact with them. We believe that when we name that our tools and our jobs are blessed it will alter the way we use them to weave goodness and co-author this story of delight alongside God!
This summer, we are going to bless all the stuff!
And this is not to say we will take things that are somehow not blessed or in need of blessing and make them blessed. This is to say we are going to proclaim the blessedness - the delight - that already lives here. We are going to celebrate it. And we are going to invite ourselves and our neighbors to live with all the stuff and to use all the stuff and to be part of all the stuff in a way that says: Yes. Every corner of this life is holy. My bike is holy. This broken piece of sidewalk is holy. My backpack that carries my tools for working in this world is holy. My art supplies or instruments are holy. It’s all holy. All blessed. All delightful!
And our literally God-given task is to live in this delight and to playfully create more delight.
Just imagine what a neighborhood could look like when all her inhabitants see their shoes and streets and computers and iphones and toys and children as brimful of delight. As blessed. As holy things meant to bless others in a cascade of playful blessing being poured out on us. Imagine if we really believe all the stuff was blessed. Imagine if we looked at all we’ve been given as God does: like Ron Swanson looking at Lil’ Sebastian.
We hope you’ll join us this summer in North Everett as we bless all the stuff.
It will be a playful season. It will be a joyful, dreaming season. It will be a blessed season. And, no matter who you are or what you believe about God, the world, our neighborhood….no matter any of that, we’d love to have you along for the journey of declaring this place and these people we live in and with as blessed!
Here's the schedule. Join us if and when you can! All are welcome!
june 19: blessing the sidewalks
june 26: blessing electronics
july 3: blessing our need for each other: an interdependence day party
july 10: blessing children
july 17: blessing bayside: a neighborhood prayer labyrinth
july 24: blessing port gardner: a neighborhood prayer labyrinth
july 31: blessing books and toys.
august 7: blessing the things we do with our lives.
august 14: blessing bikes.
august 21: blessing backpacks.
august 28: blessing our tools (tools, art supplies, instruments, gardening implements etc.)