Praying through the Psalms

Praying through the Psalms

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What is a Blessing?

The Priestly Blessing
22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

24 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’
27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

You may notice at the end of a traditional, liturgical worship service it ends with the Benediction. This word literally means "good word". In Genesis, God told Abraham that He would, "Bless him and make his name great so that he would become a blessing." Genesis 12:2. To bless someone is to invoke God's favor upon them. Literally it is to put God's name on someone. It is God's promise to us that He will bless us and make his face shine on us, and be gracious to us. And as God turns his face upon us we are given peace. This is God's promise, and God always keeps His promises.

At the end of our service as we invoke this Benediction, we face the congregation. And at the end we say, "in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit". Many may make the sign of the cross. This is a reminder of their baptism and belief in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We know that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, when we become a believer. Ephesians 1:3

I think it is important to notice the flow of the blessing. Notice it comes from God to us. God blesses us before we can be a blessing. And when we receive a blessing, the question is what are we going to do with it. Do we keep the blessing to ourselves, or are we then a blessing to others? We see also the blessing gives a sense of protection. This is the sense in which someone might say "God bless you" when someone sneezes. The thought being when someone sneezed they were in some kind of physical danger.

So we see there are many aspects of the word blessing. Primarily it means what God has bestowed His favor on those who he would call His sons and daughters. Just as a parent blesses their children, our Heavenly Father blesses us as His children. Many people go through their lives never hearing of, or receiving the blessing God has for them. They don't view God as someone who would want to bless them. But God proved He wanted to bless us when He sent His only Son to restore our relationship with Himself. This is the greatest blessing God could ever give us.

And like any other blessing, God wants us to receive it from Him and share it with others. In fact, when we have been blessed with all of the spiritual blessings of Christ, including forgiveness of sins and eternal life, we cannot but share the blessing with others. Hear the words today that you are blessed. You are blessed because God loves you and His given you everything you need.

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