So I watched part 1 of The Bible last night.
There is certainly much I could write about what I saw/didn’t see, but for today I want to pick up a particular scene.
The scene depicts Abram giving a blessing of sorts to Lot as Lot decides to go his own way (you can read about it here). Though it may differ a bit from the scriptural account, this idea of passing on a “blessing” has long been one I’ve found interesting.
As I’ve understood it, a father would give his blessing to the firstborn son. It was a passing on of responsibility, property, leadership. It was an acknowledgement that the son was worthy and seen as having honor in the father’s eyes. The blessing was not given lightly and shared only when the father had full confidence in the son.
To receive a blessing was surely a milestone in one’s life. To offer the blessing would have also been singularly significant. To bless and to be blessed. Powerful. Transformational. Unforgettable.
So, why don’t we see this practiced today? Why don’t parents “bless” their children. I mean in tangible, public ways (beyond the “can I marry your daughter?” marriage blessing). Why did we stop laying hands on our kids and speaking words of blessing over them? Too corny? Too manipulative? Too authoritarian?
Or maybe you would disagree and tell me of the ways we do bless our children?
I’m open to being persuaded. I just haven’t experienced it from my parents and I haven’t shared the experience with my own kids.
How does one even go about it? “Hey, Junior, come over here. I’m going to bless you.”
I once heard a preacher talk about “bless” being related to blood. “God bless you” really meant, “God’s blood for you”. To bless was to sprinkle blood over. I’m not sure if the etymology is right, but the idea behind it is a powerful one.
If we are blessed it is because Christ’s blood has been shed for us. Any blessings we offer/share then are connected to the blessing/offering made for us. This is a big deal!
So, I’m thinking about what it might look like for me to bless my children. To place my hand upon their shoulders, to look them in the eyes, to speak of their worth and value as I share my belief in them. To let them know everything I have is theirs. To share with them the blessing I received, not from earthly parents, but from a heavenly Father.
Maybe this doesn’t have to be limited to parents and children. Maybe I need to grab a hold of you and let you know that you matter, that you count, that you too are blessed. Can you accept those truths without me speaking the words out loud? Can I bless you? If it’s possible, then we are both more richly blessed and I would say, thanks be to God for that.
Life is better together,
One thought on “Bless (Lent #20)”
I feel especially blessed today, read my FB status if you’d like to know why. The Holy Spirit has fallen on me today and like the dove on the shoulder of Jesus, he seems to be staying/hanging around. One of my favorite scriptures is Numbers 6:22, God’s blessing to the Israelites–it’s beautiful and sometimes I think about praying it over people that I love:
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Now that’s a blessing worth recieiving and passing on. I say grab junior and lay it on him. : )