Saturday Mornings

As a kid, Saturday mornings were fantastic:  grab a bowl of cereal and take in the cartoons and other Saturday morning fare.  As an adult, Saturdays became more regimented:  get the laundry and housecleaning chores underway.  But since I began this current pastorate, some Saturdays have become real treats because periodically we have craft days.

 While we often do a craft associated with the season of the year, today, as we enter into “Holy Week,” I led “Wind of Spirit, Beads of Blessing.”  We enjoyed visiting with one another while we made wind chimes and prayer beads, with beautiful results. 

Prayer beads and wind chimes both have been around for centuries.  The exact origin of prayer beads remains uncertain but their earliest use probably traces to Hindu prayers in India.  Buddhism likely borrowed the concept from Hinduism.  They vary in their use by the different traditions which include Islam, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Bahai, and more recently Protestant denominations.  Jews use knots on their prayer shawls for the same purpose. The intent, however, is the same: to increase focus during prayer time. 

In 1980, an Episcopal group in Texas, exploring methods of prayer, devised Anglican prayer beads, which have 33 beads representing the 33 years of Jesus’ life.  Some traditions use 99 prayer beads, some 108.  Catholics have 54.  All numbers have symbolic meaning to that particular tradition. 

Wind chimes do not have the same purpose but many people experience them as meditative and spiritually uplifting.  The harmonious sounds can represent balance, harmony and blessings.  As chimes sway in the breeze, they symbolize the ever-changing nature of life and the importance of embracing change with grace and resilience.  In Biblical times the high priests’ garments were adorned with bells in the belief that the sound warded off evil when they were in the midst of their sacred duties.  And the use of cymbals was crucial in religious ceremonies.

Of course, as much as I enjoyed the crafts today, it was the sense of community engendered as we worked together that was the greatest blessing. 

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.  Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus:  (Insert “women” where it says “girls” and you have a description of our time spent as friends together at craft day)  Girls should be strong together. Strong like steel, merry like the tinkling of chimes dancing in the wind. — Kristin Halbrook

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