Over the past few days I've been pondering the power of blessings, this follows on from my experience on Sunday morning when offering blessings at a baptism I was inundated with folk coming forward to be blessed and to meet with God. There was a real hunger for blessing present that morning, and it is not the first time I have encountered this; again and again I meet people who feel that God might want to do anything BUT bless them, they know that they don't measure up, they know they have faults and flaws, and many are convinced that God would not want to have anything to do with them.
Draconian images of a displeased God are what fills the minds of many, and they don't want to be known by such a God and so they turn away from him unaware that God is in fact a God of grace. As I have been pondering this I have spoken to others about it, and asked about their experience of receiving a blessing from God. Again I met with surprise even from Christians that God might want to bless them, yes they are trying to live as they feel that he wants them to live, but they do not see themselves as blessed.
I returned then to God's promise to Abraham:
1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
"All the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you"; this is not the promise of a blessing withholding God! That got me thinking about how so often evangelical Christianity asks folk to repent and then to believe, whilst Jesus healed and accepted those who came to him and repentance followed the touch or the blessing!
The folk who came for a blessing last week were responding to an invitation,as I ponder the Spirit led invitation to come for a blessing I am aware that it involved a change in "vision" on my part, these folk are loved by the God who loves me. If I am blessed then I must pass on the blessing, and offering it means choosing to see beyond the surface to the heart that longs to meet with the ultimate lover and creator of our hearts, minds, bodies, souls and beings...
So I am left with a question: Who am I to withhold a blessing if I myself am blessed?
I have more to say, but I am interested in your response!