Monday, May 01, 2017

A Blessing

AT THE END OF MOST OF OUR MORNING WORSHIP SERVICES we offer a benediction, a blessing to all as they leave the service and head back out to the “real world.” A blessing is something that we all need on a continual basis, and thankfully our God is a God of blessing.

He blesses us with that which we need, and often He’ll bless us with a few things we didn’t know that we needed, like trials. I was reading Oswald Chambers this morning, a little piece he wrote on the place of peace in our lives. He wrote, “we would never know the ‘treasure of darkness’ if we were all in the place of placid security.” (The Philosophy of Sin, Discovery House Publishers) The ‘treasure of darkness’ does not sound like a place I would desire to be, but without those dark times, we would not know the true and abiding peace that the Lord brings during those time. Jesus said we would have trouble in this world, but that He has overcome the world, so that we can have peace in Him. In the place of the unknown, it brings peace knowing that we are known and cared for by our gracious God.

Blessing is important, and not only from God, but from each other. We have been blessed in order to be a blessing. Our blessings come from the words we not only pray for others, but the words we speak over others. When is the last time you pulled your child aside, or a brother or sister in Christ, or a spouse and in their presence spoke a blessing over them?  I know this can sound like a scary proposition, but this blessing can truly lift a person up and help them to find peace and comfort.

The Lord said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Giving a blessing can instill peace, it makes you a peacemaker, the very thing that the Lord called you to be. This is one of the reasons we offer a benediction at the end of our worship service, to bring peace.  With that in mind I would like to speak a blessing over you today. This blessing comes from a  prayer found in the Common Book of Prayer (from the Church of India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka) . The author writes,

May the cross of our Risen and Conquering Savior, which is mightier than all the hosts of Satan and more glorious than all the hosts of heaven, abide with you in your going out and your coming in. By day and night, at morning and at evening, at all times and in all places may it protect and defend you. From the wrath of evildoers, from the assaults of evil spirits, from foes visible and invisible, from the snares of the devil, from all passions that beguile the soul and body: may it guard, protect and deliver you. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be upon you, and remain with you forever. Amen.

May you go forth to be a blessing. Blessing in the holy Name of our God, and may you know His peace as you seek to bless others.

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