Skip to main content

blessing

psalm 145:1
i will extol you my God and king, and bless your name for ever and ever.

we often sing songs in worship about blessing God's name. i distinctly remember one particular time when we did and this woman came up to me after the service a bit upset about the song. "how can we possibly bless God?" she asked. "isn't God so much greater than us, and shouldn't he be the one doing the blessing?"

i thought that was an interesting question, and one that reveals a lack of understanding about what it means to bless. but i heard this verse from psalm 145 last week, and it really got me thinking about what it means to bless God's name. here was/is my train of thought. choo choo.

a child doesn't really do much of anythign if she says to her parent, "i bless you, mom and dad." i mean, it would be pretty cute, no doubt about it, but it doesn't really mean much if it isn't backed up with something more than words, some real blessing.

and so how can a child not just say a blessing, but be a blessing? i think that a parent is blessed when their child makes them proud by living round full lives; lives of joy; lives of passion; lives of gusto; and lives of obedience. to be a blessing to God - to bless the Lord and bless God's holy name - is to live that kind of life. saying or singing, "i bless you, o lord" doesn't really mean a whole lot to God. But living that out does.

but there is an advantage to keeping it on our lips, like the psalmist. saying it constantly, in the car, in the shower, as we fall asleep, before we eat and after we wake up, keeps it on our minds and in our hearts. writing it, speaking it, singing it, reading it, painting it, typing it, meditating on it, and hearing it reminds us of the way to live to make our blessing be more than an empty saying, but a full and vibrant living that blesses our God.

blessings,
greg.

Comments

Crafty P said…
good reminders today.

I was just thinking the other day if my kids knew what the word bless means. Then I remembered a book that I fell in love with last year and bought a gazillion copies of, Will You Bless Me, by Neal Lozano. Check it out. just google him.

I need to read that with my kids this week!
mary said…
i appreciated this message for sure. associating it with jack saying that to you made me realize how silly i must sound when my words aren't followed by actions. something i can definitely work on to be a living and breathing blessing

Popular posts from this blog

#thoughtsandprayers

i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

vote. and pray. but do not be afraid (the King is alive).

i'm not sure how many americans right now are feeling optimistic about the government.  i know i'm not.  in fact, while i didn't live through the civil war or anything, i have to think that faith in our elected leaders - indeed the whole system of electing them in the first place - is at one of its lowest points.  i just don't have a great deal of confidence in those individuals who have been elected, or in those who want to be.  i find myself slipping at times into what feels like a swamp of apathy: sinking, to be sure, but not sure that i care enough anymore to do much about it.  i see this attitude all around me: in conversations, on social media, and in popular culture.  perhaps there is no more clear indication of our nation's view of the government than this current election season, when we would teeter on electing liars and thieves, crooks and clowns. 

which is why i was so startled as i sat down to read psalm 72 this morning. as i read the ancient song, i…