January 1, 2016
This year, I wish to bless and pray. Bless and pray – moment after moment, day after day.
If I want to bless others, that blessing must come out of a life of prayer. A life of prayer trains me to welcome God’s presence each moment, one moment at a time.
Can I bless everyone I encounter? What about people who challenge me – those who dislike me, who bother me, who stress me out? Bless them. As Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? . . . But love your enemies, do good to them . . . .” (Luke 6:32, 35
What does it mean to bless? To me, it is a sacred wish for their complete well-being – prosperity, peace, happiness, spiritual connection, physical health. Most of all it’s a wish for intangible spiritual qualities like peace, joy, kindness, patience, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, hope, and of course love. To the degree that those qualities are present in our lives, the other blessings – health, wealth, wisdom, etc., those things that none of us are guaranteed — become less crucial to our well-being.
So when I bless you, I wish all good things for you.
The Bible has beautiful blessings:
“May God give you the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine” (Genesis 27:28).
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26)
Jesus offered blessings such as comfort, mercy, righteousness, seeing God, even the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3-9).
So when I bless those whom I encounter, it’s a simple version of a lot of goodness: “May God give you the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. May God look upon you, be gracious to you, and give you peace, joy, comfort, mercy, love, and every other spiritual blessing.”
And then may those whom I bless, bless others and become a blessing to them!