“B” is for Blessings (February 23, 2012)

…Opening To…

The glory of these forty days we celebrate with songs of praise; for Christ, through whom all things were made, himself has fasted and has prayed. (Hymn from the 6th century; trans. Maurice F. Bell)

…Listening In…

The LORD said to Abram, “Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:1-2; context)

…Filling Up…

This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “B” is for blessings. Grandmas tell us to count them. Football talk about them when they’ve won a big game. We use a different form of the word when someone sneezes. But what are “blessings?”

Well, it might be worth starting with what blessing is not. As my boss often says, “Don’t say you’re lucky, say you’re blessed.” Luck ascribes things happening to chance. Blessing ascribes them to God. People talk about good luck and bad luck. Chance favors those with good luck; not so much with the bad. But there’s no such thing as bad blessing. There are bad situations and tragedies but no bad blessings. There is blessing to be found in every situation and every tragedy. These blessings don’t necessarily minimize the pain and grief of the tragedy, but they do offer glimmers of hope. Sometimes the blessing is hidden until we are ready to see it, but the hope exists whether we notice it or not. The difference between luck and blessing is this hope: subscribe to a life of luck and hope rides on the flip of a coin or roll of dice, but subscribe to a life of blessing and hope rides on God.

There’s one more thing that separates luck from blessing, and that is permanence. Luck is fleeting, if it exists at all. But every blessing is permanent, no matter how quickly they may come or go. I urge you, then, to save them – remember them, write them down. Yesterday my blessings including playing music and embracing my wife. Each of these small blessings sinks down to fortify the bedrock of my soul. Remembering them helps me stay in relationship with the source of all blessing, and that is God.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the source of all blessing. Help me to seek out the blessing in all circumstances so that I may notice the glimmers of hope that exist in all situations. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, glad that you have given me the strength and the will to reflect on my journey with you.

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