Blessings beyond Measure

According to the Church of England, marriage “enriches society and strengthens community”. This is true in large part because marriage, sociologically at least, is an economic construct. Yes, I know… Marriage is ordained by God, and is a sacrament. Whilst I agree that God blesses the union of a man and a woman, I also know that marriage creates economic bonds which in the past have protected both women and children, and provided for them. So marriage is expedient as well as Godly.

My theology of blessing, the prayer for and divine approval of thriving, has always been to encourage life in all its fulness. Parents bless their children, owners bless their pets, I have in my time blessed my dishwasher and the resulting ease with which I can offer hospitality. Blessing that which we love and appreciate is profoundly human as well as a profoundly Godly.

Why then, given that the church has a deeply-loved place in the wedding of heterosexual couples, and the ability to bless not only life but also inanimate objects (I’m thinking toilets here!), do our bishops feel the need to comment on blessing or otherwise loving relationships which are not part of liturgy, and therefore not part of our theology. Why not keep quiet and allow pastoral requests to take precedence over ridiculous and pretentious statements about sex. What on earth does God make of it!

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