Bless [1Word5Voices]

family

I had been to weddings and funerals, but my most meaningful exposure to Church was through a youth group.

Though there is much I could share about my experiences as a youth, today’s word “bless” immediately conjured up images of how each youth gathering ended.

Imagine a bunch of students holding hands in a circle.

Imagine the students taking turns sharing the ups and downs of their lives with the group.

Imagine prayer and laughter and sometimes tears.

Then imagine the group speaking blessing over each other by offering the words God gave Moses to give to his brother Aaron to be spoken over the Israelites.

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

I don’t remember anyone ever sitting me down to teach me the blessing. I don’t recall ever listening to an explanation of why these were the words which closed our time together. I don’t think I even knew where to find them in scripture until many, many years later.

I do know it took me a couple of times to memorize the words. I know these were the words we used to close our gatherings when my wife and I became youth directors. I also know these words continue to bless me now and from time to time they are the words I use as I speak blessing over the folks in the churches I have served.

Bless.

It’s a verb you know. Not a noun (blessing) or an adjective (blessed), but a word with energy, purpose, action.

May the Lord bless you…

How? With relationship and recognition. With grace and peace. With love.

May we bless others…

How? With relationship and recognition. With grace and peace. With love.

See what I did there?

The way God blesses us is the way we are invited to bless others.

So today when the guy didn’t yield but instead pulled in front of me and proceeded to drive under the speed limit, I extended grace. I eased off the gas pedal, and though my first instinct was to curse the guy, my ultimate response was to offer a prayer for the guy.

I didn’t do so well with my son today. Heated words were exchanged this morning and though I came back around to apologize for losing my cool, I know I missed an opportunity to extend grace, to love, to bless my son.

I’m not going to beat myself up over this parenting fail (Lord knows I’ve had several and will likely have many more). I’m also not going to give myself too much credit for avoiding a bit of road rage.

Instead, I am just going to pray I can bless more and curse less. I am going to pray you might as well.

Life is better together.
Shawn

Check out what a few of my friends taking this journey with me think of this word…

One response to “Bless [1Word5Voices]

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