When I was in the 5th grade, my family moved to Murrysville to our new home. We lived on the corner of a cul de sack, which was the epitome of cool for a young child growing up. That circular street would over the years be the arena for all manner of sporting events. It was our hockey rink. It was our baseball field. It was our battlefield for snowball fights. It was a legitimately safe place, because as a dead end street, we very infrequently had folks driving by. We were an end to ourselves, and it was so great.
I’ve been thinking a lot this month about God’s blessings, particularly as it relates to the way we think about outreach and mission. When Sarah and I think about our twin boys, the word that keeps coming up for us is “blessed.” Being election day, so many people I know have offered a wish of “God bless America.” And as the Christmas season is upon us (far too early if you ask me), so many people have offered me a well meaning “God bless you!” in public. And really in our community, there’s little doubt that we are blessed. We are blessed financially. We are blessed in our families. We are blessed in our ability to gather in this community of faith. We are blessed.
God speaks to Abraham about blessing in Genesis. “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.’” (Genesis 12:1-2 NRSV) While God does indeed bless us, did you catch the purpose behind blessing? We are blessed SO THAT we can be a blessing to others. We are given gifts from God so that we can give gifts to our brothers and sisters.
The truth is, we are at our worst when we become our own cul de sacs of blessing. We are at our worst when we assume that the blessings that God has given us are meant for us alone, that they are something to be hoarded. Blessings are not dead end streets, they are meant to be flowing through us in to others.
I think on some level we as Christians all understand that. We know that our job is to be a blessing to the world. Where we can get tripped up is in the execution. So I for one am really happy for this month’s blog series, as Jan, Will, and myself will walk through what this blessing can actually look like. Plus, we’re going to have a few different special guest posts in addition to those, so you’re going to want to stay tuned all this month! If you have a story of how God has blessed you, or how you have used that to bless others, please feel free to give me an e-mail.
Grace and peace,
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