Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

Bless, Blessing, Blessed

November 4, 2018

There are words that Christians use, often without much thought. If we are asked to define them or explain them, we might be caught short. Bless, Blessing, Blessed are a set of words that we use and, I suspect, miss use.

It’s not unusual to hear people talk about being blessed and usually they mean in some sort of material, physical way. I was blessed with a car. Or I was blessed with a pay raise. If someone does something nice, or important we might say they were a blessing. It was a blessing that Mary gave me a ride home. What a blessing it was to eat with Bob. We might talk about being blessed to live in our state or country.

Sometimes we talk about blessings in terms of what we do for others. I was blessed to be able to donate. I was blessed to help at the event. There are lots of examples.

But is there more to bless, blessing, blessed than having nice or even wonderful things happen to us? Is there more to it than being able to do nice things?

In the Bible, particularly as we read and pray the Psalms, God is blessed. Bless the Lord my soul. How can we bless God? What does it mean to bless God? Does blessing God have to do with material things? If we give money in the offering have we blessed God?

And then there is the problem of people who are apparently not blessed. If blessing involves receiving good things, what about people who don’t receive good things? Are they not blessed? The people who are sick, or suffer bereavement, or lose their job. What does that imply about their status with God. If God loves us, why wouldn’t God bless us with the same things that others have?  ( This, of course, is the problem the book of Job wrestles with.)

If we spend a little time thinking about it, blessing seems to be a bit more complex that we might have initially thought. So we will spend some time, maybe a couple of weeks on the topic of bless, blessing, blessed.

What does it mean to you to bless? What does it mean to receive or to be a blessing?


August 29, 2018

Rowan Williams is a wonderful writer and a very thoughtful Christian. I highly recommend this essay of his, Silence in the Face of Mystery.

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