There's nothing like coming home from vacation and immediately hosting fifty people in your home! What could have been stress-inducing turned into a huge blessing as we opened our home to our church family for Epiphany (the commemoration of the magi visiting the Christ child, celebrated on January 6). Epiphany is also a traditional day for house blessings.
The magi (better known as "wise men" or "kings") visited Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in a house in Bethlehem. They worshiped God through the Holy Family's gracious welcome. Medieval Christians saw this as a hallowing of the home as a place of spiritual nurture, love, gift-giving, and hospitality. They began writing over their doors with chalk as a way to bless their homes.
We chose to commemorate this Epiphany by blessing our church home and by giving chalk to anyone in worship who wanted to chalk their own doors.
Adam and I then hosted an open house. The church family got to see some of the Trustees' hard work and participate in blessing our beautiful home!
Thank you to everyone who attended, baked cookies, or helped to host---especially Bonnie Muren, Phyllis Hershey, and the Fellowship and Adult Education Teams.
You don't have to have dozens of people to bless your home. You can chalk the doors of your dorm, apartment, house, or nursing home by yourself. Just follow this blessing, and ask yourself, "God, how am I marked as a person of welcome?"
A Blessing of the Chalk for Marking the Door
Pray this prayer together:
Lord Jesus, through your birth in true human form, you have made all the earth holy. We ask your blessing upon this simple gift of your creation – chalk. We use it as a tool to teach our children and they use it as a tool in their play and games. Now, with your blessing, may it become a tool for us to mark the doors of our home with the symbols of your wise servants who, so long ago, came to worship and adore you in your first home. Amen.
Mark the door or above your door in chalk: 20+CMB+15 and read the following:
The magi of old (wise men) came to be known as Casper, Melchior and Balthasar (CMB) and followed the star of the Son who came to dwell among us (20) two thousand and (15) fifteen years ago. This marking will serve to remind us as we, and our friends, come and go from this home into the world, we bring ourselves and our gifts to the Christ child. It will remind us that we are called to welcome others into our homes, our lives, and our church. It will remind us that no matter what is contained within the walls, our homes are rich with the presence of Christ.
Pray this prayer together:
Christ, bless this house and remain with us throughout 2015. May all who come and go here find peace, hope, joy, love, and salvation, for Christ has come to dwell in this house and in these hearts. May we be Christ’s light in the world. Amen!
Everyone may walk from room to room, blessing the house with incense or by sprinkling water (perhaps from a branch of the Christmas tree), saying: May we be Christ’s light in the world. Amen!
Take a picture of your blessed/chalked home and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured on our church Facebook page!