Thursday, 31 August 2017

Blest to be a blessing

My friend, Dr Liz Boase, recently led a brief workshop on the themes in the Hebrew Scriptures that help us to think about Mission and Evangelism. As she was speaking, I couldn't help thinking about my own questions about what blessing is for me and how that sometimes differs from what others think should be a blessing for me.

My early experience of evangelism was that someone was just being generous and loving. However, it was not long before others started interfering with what God was doing. "Blessing" can so easily turn into judging or colonizing or fitting someone into a box that really doesn't fit.

Here are some of my notes from what Liz said about Blessing in the Hebrew Scriptures...

Blessing is complicated.
The core meaning has to do with fullness of life - sometimes linked with the blessing of children, community and prosperity, but only in terms of what they represent - being able to live life to capacity. It is about flourishing.
Sufficiency is related to fullness of life - the experience of providence allows the freedom to live in a particular way.
When people do and are how they are meant to be there is a sense of blessing unfolding. (LB, Aug 2017)

This sat well with the thinking of God's SHALOM and desire for all Creation to live into a foretaste of Heaven. This is what Ministers and Churches and Disciples seek to promote when they follow Jesus, but it can be so easy to get distracted! How often do we let go of the priority of Blessing in favour of the easier choice to judge and tell others to fit more neatly into my life and my world-view?

Liz pointed us to two helpful texts:
Christopher Wright - The Mission of God's People
James Okoye - Israel and the Nations

The Call of Abram is full of emphasis on BLESSING...
Genesis 12:1-3New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

And the encounter of Moses at Mount Sinai emphasized Covenant and knowing our story of liberation and blessing.

Exodus 19:1-8New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

God blesses US and wants us to be a blessing to others!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your reflections.
    I have always loved the word "Blessings" and often used it as a way of signing off instead of "cheers" or whatever. It reminds me that God (in the broadest sense of the word) is there in the mix somehow. So, Blessings Cogs


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