When my niece was confirmed several weeks again, I as her godfather was asked to place my hand on her, along with her parents and godmother, as she was being confirmed by the pastor. Then last week, to mark the 20th anniversary of my pastor’s ordination and his 10th anniversary as a pastor at my church, the assistant pastor asked everyone in the congregation to reach out their hands in blessing to him as the assistant pastor played over it.
Both instances proved to be particularly emotional for me as I considered the passage of time and what God was doing in the lives of my niece and my pastor. And the mirror events recalled for me the calling that we all have to be agents of blessing in this world.
When asked “How are you?” my good friend and fellow writer Walt Schoedel is known to respond, “Blessed and vertical.” And I have recently taken to ending my emails with the proclamation: “Blessings on your day.”
Both declarations of blessing highlight for me how blessed we truly are to be alive in this world at all and to be living for our Lord. Each day is a gift that we should treasure beyond measure, and we need to do all we can to relate that to those around us.
A smile, a compliment, an encouraging word, a listening ear, a pat on the back and wink and a nod are all ways in which we can transmit blessings onto others. The world has so many negative messages, that we need to counteract the negativity with positive energy that can only come by God through the Holy Spirit.
Remember these words of Scripture and live by them every day:
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26
Sound familiar? They are the words of blessing we call the Benediction that is spoken over us at the close of worship.
They are words that God told Moses’ brother Aaron to speak over the Israelites to remind them of God’s goodness toward them throughout their 40 years in the wilderness and their journey to the promised land.
They are words that have just as much importance to us today as to the Israelites long ago, for they are the words that carry us through the wildernesses of this life and bring us safely to the promised land of heaven, where we will experience blessing upon blessing.
So be blessed today in the Lord and be a blessing to others.