The professors were talking, and one of them said, “What do we mean by blessing anyway?”
Was he kidding?
Or was he talking at a deeper level?
“What does it mean to bless the Lord,” he went on, and I realized he was serious. Then I thought, does he want an answer? And, could I even put my thought into words?
My Dad’s a Greek scholar, and he had told me the difference once, but I couldn’t remember it in real time then. So tonight I asked him again, and it was that we thank the Lord for something personal he’s done for us. We praise God for grand things he’s done for the world. Blessing is a response for grand things done for us, like in Psalm 103: who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.
But I was thinking.
Like mercy is withholding punishment and grace is love covering and giving the power to do right, praise and thanks and blessing are entwined. Maybe flip sides of a coin?
Thanks for something done. In Cantonese there is a word of thanks for a gift and another word of thanks for a service rendered by a person. I don’t know if I’m quite clear on that, having been raised with one word, except we do use a formal “thank you” and an informal “thanks.”
Praise tends to have a sense of acknowledging the amazing good of another, and gives that other glory for what they are in essence as seen by what they have done, created, or said well. You can praise someone without blessing them.
Blessing perhaps combines the idea of thanks and praise but it also seeks to give. My will for you is all good things. My heart is toward you in love and flowing for your good even at cost to myself. When I am blessed, I am very conscious of having received (like grace, not mercy) goodness I do not deserve but that I can live on.
You will ask, how then can it say we bless God? Can we give him goodness that he doesn’t already have? Does he need anything from us?well, I was just reading that part where he says he doesn’t eat the meat sacrificed, but he desires thank offerings and fulfilling vows (Psalm ?)
When I bless the Lord, I turn toward him in my heart. I want good to go back to him. I praise him and respond with a giving heart even while the ability I have to give to God is the smallest bit of a child’s wealth. He has told us in his word how we can give to him.
I’m not sure I understand it to explain it to the professors, but when I bless the Lord, my heart is in its happiest, highest state.
Bless the Lord, o my soul, and all that is within me,
Bless His Holy Name!
O that I would daily live blessing him!
This morning my dear friend Peter Wolfgang sent me a link to a Rich Mullins song Creed recorded by Third Day and Brandon Heath. You can click here to watch it. He sent this because it’s been 15 years today since Rich died in a car accident and he knew how much Rich’s music ministered to my heart and watered my faith. I have been blessed!
I believe in God the Father, almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting, Amen!
(That was from memory; thank you Mom and Dad and my churches!)
Do you believe too?
May God our Father bless you abundantly today so that you can live blessing him and others.