Wednesday, March 12, 2014

     

The Work of Blessing                        

 

 Genesis 12:1-4a          
 

  

In the 12th chapter of Genesis, God gives Abram and Sarai THE blessing. God promises them a new land; God promises them a family and that they will become a great nation. God gives them God's blessing, and gives them protection.

 

But here's the twist. This blessing is not theirs to hold and to hoard. It is not a treasure that they can bury, not theirs alone to savor. They are not to be a nation at the expense of other nations. No, they are - as preachers are wont to say - "blessed to be a blessing." They are to be a blessing for all people; they are to bless all nations. By the time God is finished blessing, this blessing has become for Abram and Sarai . . . work.

 

This year, the theme for our Lenten devotions is "The Way of Blessing." We are exploring together how our Lenten journey with Christ - from Ash Wednesday toward Jerusalem and the cross and then on toward Easter - is a way of blessing. In the world of scripture, words of blessing are so much more than just words. As is true in today's scripture, words of blessing don't just describe or say something nice; they do something; they set something in motion; they create a new reality. Throughout scripture, blessing is one of the ways that God is at work in the world - moving God's future forward in the lives of the people of God - speaking words that become a new reality. And God invites us to become a part of that work. As one writer has said, blessing is one of the ways that God infuses the world with good. To bless is to infuse the world with God's good.

 

So here are some questions to think about today:

 

  • Where in your life is God calling you to bless the world?
  • What are those things big and small where God is inviting you to infuse the world with good?
  • What is your work of blessing today?

 

And then, after you have prayed with this devotion and with those questions . . . go, get to work. With God's blessing, go bless the world in the name of the Christ. Go infuse the world with God's good. 
         

Rev. Scott Clark   

SFTS Chaplain and Associate Dean of Student Life