What does it mean to receive God’s blessings? That may sound like a silly question, but in the Bible the way blessing works is very different from how we tend to view it in our time. In our world, blessings are seen to be given to individuals for their own use and enjoyment, and we may even fall into the trap of thinking that health, wealth and happiness are signs of God’s blessing, while poverty and suffering are signs of God’s curse. But, throughout the Bible we see a very different understanding of blessing that undermines this individualistic view. Biblically, those who are blessed are equipped to be channels of God’s blessing to others. Blessings are given not to individuals, but through them to the community.

In worship today, you may have heard the story of God’s promise to Abraham that he would have an heir that was his own flesh and blood. As the story of this promise unfolds in the Bible, it is clear that God’s call and blessing in Abraham’s life was in order that he would be a blessing to the nations. Or, if the Gospel reading from Luke was your focus, you will have noticed that Jesus calls his followers to always be ready to give to those in need, and to be alert to the coming of Christ (and of God’s Reign) at all times. These two elements of “readiness” go together, because it is as we give and serve that we help to manifest God’s Reign in our communities, and as we watch for the signs of God’s Reign, we will inevitably find ourselves participating in its work through giving and service.

This week we explore what it means to be blessed to be a blessing.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.