Anyone at Stepping Stones (that’s Buckden-speak for Messy Church) today was able to partake of the latest in multi-sensory prayer.
We have always used objects, actions and various items of a multi-sensory nature in Stepping Stones to express our prayers. Among the favourites is the prayer cushion: a large, squashy red heart-shaped cushion that we pass round, taking turns to hug it as we silently ask God to bless the people we love (or the people we find it hard to love, or those we feel might be most in need of God’s blessing).
Earlier in the summer I found the prayer cushion’s natural successor: the blanket of blessing. Like many of the best sermon illustrations, all age liturgical resources and prayer aids, he came from Dunelm Mill. It is dark pinky-red. It has hearts on it. It is made of the softest of soft fleecy fabric. It is completely irresistible.
Unlike the prayer cushion which could be considered rather individualistic, the blanket of blessing is communal: whole piles of children can be encompassed in its soft embrace (and the blanket itself doesn’t even need to be CRB-checked) and best of all, when one person feels they have been sufficiently blessed, they can take the blanket from around their own shoulders, and drape it over someone else. ‘God bless Denise’, said Daniel, as he wrapped our churchwarden up in the blanket this afternoon. ‘God bless Ally, Daniel and Joanna,’ said Mia and William as my children and I were enveloped in fuzzy warm blessings.
The blanket of blessing is here to stay. I now have to buy another two for my children, so they don’t argue about who gets to use the church one when Stepping Stones is over…
Have you got a blanket of blessing for your church yet?