His grandson is not yet three. Perfect time to learn all sorts of important stuff. His mum had been saying ‘Bless you!’ every time someone sneezed. Last week the boy sneezed twice and came running to inform his mum, ‘My mouth is full of bless-yous!’
I remember a history class long ago when we had the origin of this custom explained. During a catastrophic outbreak of bubonic plague in Europe when one of the early symptoms of the disease was sneezing, people would say, ‘Bless you!’ as a sincere prayer. May God have mercy on you and help you!
And I wonder what our mouths, minds and hearts will be full of today.
I’ve written previously about choosing carefully how we speak, for we live in a culture where people often welcome or talk themselves into darkness by excessive cursing and needless swearing.
‘Goddammit’ someone will exclaim. Oh that’s really intelligent. So if there is an almighty being let’s invite him to consign what we’re doing to everlasting failure and regret!!!
Much better that our mouths be full of prayers, thanksgiving and generous-hearted ‘bless-yous’!
Displaced people returning home to Jerusalem some five centuries before Christ wrote, ‘When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.’ (Psalm 126v1-2)
Those who experience God in His rescuing ‘saving’ grace like this often find their hearts and mouths filled with irrepressible joy, the best kind of bubbly. Only wise then to submit our wills to go on being filled constantly with the Holy Spirit and love of Jesus. The Apostle Paul gives the following advice:
‘Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Ephesians 5v18-20)
Amen to that. May you know His grace and blessing today.