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  • Throughout Lent 2020 we have been considering suggestions of a habit, practice or discipline to incorporate into the coming week (based on “Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us” by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun). 

                The practice suggested for this fifth Sunday of Lent is called “Blessing Others/Encouragement” and comes from the book’s section entitled INCARNATE THE LOVE OF CHRIST.  Calhoun points out that too easily people feel more cursed than blessed.  People may feel wounded and anger leak outs and offense is easily taken. Or because we are sad, we tell ourselves stories of never being good enough.  We begin to pretend in life.  We hunger for a kind word and live like competitive workaholics. (see p.199).  Offering words of blessing and encouragement is a wonderful way to multiply the love of God and embody Jesus.  Words of blessing and encouragement build up the body of Christ, fill the human hunger for blessing, give strength to those who are ready to give up and lets others know that they are unconditionally loved by God.  With this practice we can spread the delight God has in people throughout our world and as a by-product enlarge our own hearts with God’s delight. (p.198) This past week I was part of an online meeting with some 80 other faith community leaders in a meeting arranged by the city of London.  Besides sharing current practices, the city’s mayor offered words of encouragement and blessing to all of us; it was a moment of grace.  In the upcoming week, with whatever opportunity we are given, let us speak words of blessing and encouragement.  This spiritual practice too is one our world could really use right now.. -EGN