Mess: a disordered, untidy, offensive, or unpleasant state or condition (according to Merriam-Webster). Synonyms may be: disarray, muddle, chaos, shambles, havoc, confusion…snake pit? (Also, according to Merriam-Webster.) In internet speak, I would also add “dumpster fire.”
According to Merriam-Webster, some (not all) definitions of bless are: to hallow or consecrate by religious rite or word; to invoke divine care for; to speak well of; or to confer prosperity or happiness upon. Synonyms include consecrate and sanctify. In other words, to make holy.
As I write this, my dog is in the center of the living room among the scattered fluffy remnants of toys he has ripped apart. A mess. There is so much about our lives and experiences that can be “messy” – whether it is our physical environment, events that are outside our control, the consequences of our actions, or our emotions and thoughts. The mess can hang on us, overwhelm us or leave us feeling like we have no idea what to do next. I have often started a deep clean of the closet, only to sit among the ruins completely overwhelmed and wondering where any of this goes and what happened to all my energy…? Sometimes clearing out my heart and mind feels the same way. Anybody else have that experience?
This Lent, you are invited to journey with us in our theme of “Bless this Mess.” In what ways may our mess bring about blessing? In the words of Rev. Otis Moss III, how can we “consecrate our chaos?” It's the mess that God uses, and it’s messy people whom God draws to God’s self. This is our prayer.
Along with joining us for this sermon series on Sunday, you’re invited to join us for some practical Lenten practices. On the first Sunday of Lent, February 18th, join us after service for a walkthrough of our building. We will ask ourselves what messes need cleaning, and what new ways we might bless the spaces with which we have been entrusted. From this, we will create a list of tasks that people are invited to sign up for through Lent. By Easter, we hope our building will have transformed! And on April 7, we will take another walkthrough, blessing each room for God’s service.
We will also have Wednesday night gatherings, and have a daily devotional available. For more information, check out page 2. Join us this Lent in our prayer: Please, Lord, bless this mess!