THIS SERIES: DREAMING OF THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS?
To find rest in the last days before Christmas, we need to be rescued from the tyranny of checklists and seasonal habit. It’s not what we have to do, but how we do them, which dictates the level of stress we feel.
One solution to this is in the concept of blessing. To bless is to intentionally speak God’s favour and power into someone’s life.
There are many biblical references to the power of our words, for example:
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
In the Old Testament we read that the priests who carried the ark (signifying the Presence of God) were given the specific responsibility of blessing the people:
This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
"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."
So they will put My Name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.
Under the New Covenant, every believer is a priest charged with carrying the Presence of God through the Holy Spirit, and we also have the priestly commission to bless.
So, how about blessing the checkout queue, the traffic jam, the recalcitrant teenager, the over-excited child? How about releasing the Lord’s goodness and favour over the gathering at the school nativity, the Christmas market or the office party? How about using every frustration and irritation in the next few days as an opportunity to bless?
BLESSING THROUGH MATERIAL THINGS
As well as through our speech, blessing can also be transmitted through things. If something carries a blessing, it is an instrument through which His favour flows.
For example, the wine taken in Communion is called the cup of blessing [1 Corinthians 10:16)]; thousands were fed by the loaves and fishes blessed by Jesus [Matthew 14:13-21)]; and when Paul’s handkerchiefs were taken to the sick, they were healed [Acts 19:11,12].
Let’s take the stuff of Christmas and speak His blessing over it all, that it might be the means by which His love and favour might flow. Let’s make Christmas cards and Christmas trees, candles and mince-pies, crib-displays and welcome wreaths be a means of grace to others. Let’s invest faith in the things we do, so we don’t just check them off our lists, but release the Kingdom through them. Some of the trappings of Christmas can then become the gateway for profound experiences with the Lord...
NEXT WEEK: EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US
The message of Christmas is not that we climb up to God but that He comes down to us and meets us where we are...
GET IN TOUCH!
[Photo credits: Freestocks (paper bags); Debbie Hudson (nativity); Hillary Ungson (wreath-making)
@ Unsplash, with thanks]
Da Kraplak (type writer);
Merakist (social media)
@ Unsplash, with thanks]
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