Blessings. I think everyone wants blessings in their lives.
If life is going well we consider ourselves blessed and if life is just going along normally well it is a good life and if it gets really bad we think in terms of being cursed. But mostly we want to be blessed.
In our culture today we often think of it as lucky or being in the right place at the right time. But in the not too distant past there was a sense right across world cultures that blessing came from somewhere or someone else.
Even in non-Christian cultures if things were going bad there was a sense of needing to do something to gain the favour of whatever the deity was the local favourite. Some offered offerings to make the ‘gods’ happy.
I know I want a good life and I want my children to have good lives, even better than mine at the end of the day. I’d like to think that this is true of everyone in our community. So has been the pattern from the earliest of times people would bring their children to the patriarch to be blessed. In the Bible we see Abraham blessed Isaac, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, Jacob blessed his sons and grandsons. And in Jesus day this was still happening. We see it in the gospel of Luke as Simeon and Anna blessed the baby Jesus when He was first brought to the temple.
As Jesus public ministry grew, people recognised that there was something special about him and they wanted him to bless their children so they would have a better life and future. In Matthew 19:13-15 we read: “Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them.
“But Jesus said ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’
“And He laid His hands on them...”
Too often we overlook children and even worse act like the disciples and just send them away. But I think the lesson of Christ is important for us to learn from. We should find a way to be a blessing into their lives.
Sadly the summer such as it has been is almost over as far as the holidays side of things goes and the children are soon back to school. Those of us that love ours are often posting about how nice and quiet it will soon be with school starting, but down deep we will miss the interaction and the busyness that can happen. As a church we are going to be having a special family service this week to focus on sending the children back to school with blessing.
I tried to ask around to see what others are doing, but as my brain seems always to run behind the clock I left my question till too late to get answers. So I will simply challenge us all as a community, to have prayers for our young folk.
Pray that they will be blessed, that they will learn the lessons in their classes and that those that would disrupt, won’t. That the teachers will be blessed and do their best to be a blessing.
I know it is a big prayer, but perhaps asking a blessing on our children as they return back to school will in turn bring blessing onto our broader community as well. As Tiny Tim proclaimed: “God Bless us, everyone!”
Rev. Jon Bergen
Brechin Baptist Fellowship