Did you know things expelled during a sneeze have been clocked at 100 miles an hour? I sneezed while Christmas shopping in an elbow to elbow crowded store and three people I had never met said "God bless you". I wonder if they had any idea of the power behind their words or the speed behind my sneeze!? Blessing someone is, as two year old Reece says, “super awesome". This tradition of saying "bless you" when someone sneezes dates back to at least 77AD. A legend held that when you sneeze the heart stops beating and the phrase God bless you would ensure the return to life. The bless you idea is God's plan "from the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another" (John 1:16). Frederick Bruner explains the impact of the words, "bless you". It means more than just happy or content; it translates "God is with you", "God is on your side"!
Jesus whose very name means ‘God with you’ came into the world to bless us. “Praise to the God and Father of Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing" (Ephesians 1:3). God is with us. God is on our side. What a gift. God meets us in the good and frustrating times of our lives with the blessing of love and acceptance. London put a sticker on me and when I asked her, “why did you give me a sticker, darling?” She hugged me and said, ‘there is no “why” Nana, I just wanted to give you a sticker." What a staggering thought that God is on our side and for us and there is no why. A “No why” gift means everything - we are loved by the creator of the universe with a love beyond reason. Maybe we can get so filled up with the love of a God who is on our side that when we sneeze it will spill out at 100 miles an hour everywhere - affecting everything in our path.
This season when we hear, read, say, or write those powerful words “bless you”, may we be reminded that the God of the universe is with us forever… and…by the way, GOD BLESS YOU!