Skip to main content

Belief and Blessing

Blessing--It’s a prayer spoken before a meal.  In our house, it’s a song.  For many, it’s a formality only practiced at Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Blessings--We’re told to count them. 

Bless--We ask God to bless our nation.  And here in the South we say, “Bless his heart.”  That’s not a remark of sympathy.  It’s similar to, “God, love ‘em.”  Both comments appear to have religious, caring messages; I assure you; they do not.

Blessed--We’re told to “Have a blessed day!”  That’s a nice sentiment; I’m not sure what it means.

We use some form of bless/blessing/blessings/blessed in our regular conversation.  But the Bible has a lot to say about what is BLESSED that goes far beyond our family meals, even our country.

The Christmas story in Luke is a story of blessing.  The chief recipient of blessing is Mary, who is deemed blessed, because she has been chosen to carry the Son of God (Luke 1:42), and because she believes.

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished. Luke 1:45

Mary certainly stands out in human history is THE, SINGLE, SOLITARY person who has been entrusted with the awesome responsibility and honor of carrying, birthing, and nurturing the Son of God.

But that awesome responsibility isn’t the only thing that earns her the title “blessed.”

She’s blessed, because she believes.  She believes that God will do what God says He will do.

That’s it.  It’s a simple concept; it’s a harder reality.  Blessing comes with belief. 

I’m not talking about health/wealth faith, about belief making you rich.  Mary was certainly not wealthy; she had a baby in a manger!  But she was blessed.

If you believe, then you are blessed.  Do you own that?  Could you sing it out for all to hear like Mary?  Do you rejoice in the blessing of knowing that God is Who He says He is, that He will do what He says He’ll do?  What an amazing blessing—to believe in a God who is faithful and true! 

If you find yourself on the other end of the spectrum, feeling like your beliefs are a burden that produce hardship in your life, then may you find blessing in the Christmas story this season.


Popular posts from this blog

A Response to Charlottesville

Visiting our nation’s capital is an easy day trip for us, and how I chose to spend a precious vacation day this week.  I took pride in explaining the buildings and icons of my country to my children.  I am proud to be an American.  

But today, I am not proud.  
Today, I weep.

Four days ago, I saw the beautiful, infamous words “We the People” with my own eyes for the first time.  
Four days later, I am reminded of how far we still have to go to fully live into those words:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

What has happened 63 miles from my home, in Jefferson’s beautifully-domed, colonnaded city, is far from perfect, just, or tranquil.
This is not what our founding fathers wanted for our country, nor is …

A Message to Graduates

I have been a Pastor to Students (The title has changed numerous times; the role remains.) in Powhatan, Virginia for roughly 12 years.  I daresay I've been ministering to teenagers in this community longer than many.

Over the last dozen years, I've gotten lots of cool opportunities to minister to teenagers in this area.   But one had always eluded me--speaking at a baccalaureate service.  My husband had done the honors.  Other great pastors in the area had as well.  Once, I'd offered the closing prayer.  

This week, that changed.  I had the distinct honor to share with the PHS Class of 2016 at their baccalaureate service.  It was a wonderful experience working with great students, parents, and school leaders.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity!!!

A few people missed it and have asked to see what I said, so here it is, ALL of it:

June 1999 I sat in this space for my Baccalaureate service.  Before I was a pastor at PCC, before I moved back to Powhatan to raise my family, …

Disillusionment of Adulthood

Now that I’m in my 30’s, I must confess to disillusionment.  Growing up, I had ideas of what adulthood would be like.  I’m here, and it’s not entirely what I’d imagined.
For starters, I remember growing up amidst all the drama that comes with, well, growing up.  The gossip.  The hurt feelings.  The misunderstandings.  The fights between friends.  The back-stabbing.  And I remember being told that it would get better.  I’m not sure who told me that, but they were clearly wrong.
The drama may look a little different.  The words may sound a little different.  But the anguish of relationships remains.
Adults hurt each other’s feelings—intentionally and unintentionally. Adults nitpick and cause fights over inconsequential issues. Adults gossip. Adults cry, scream, and pitch fits. Adults build relational alliances, competing in “us vs. them” relational war. Adults let issues build and exponentially swell until they explode. Adults rarely identify the actual issue instead of the presenting issue. Adul…