God blessed them and said to them, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and master it. Take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, and everything crawling on the ground.”-Genesis 1:28
Aaron then raised his hands toward the people and blessed them. After performing the purification offering, the entirely burned offering, and the well-being sacrifice, he came down. Moses and Aaron then entered the meeting tent. When they came out, they blessed the people, and the Lord’s glorious presence appeared to all the people. -Leviticus 9:22-23
Blessings abound in the Bible, whether it is God blessing someone(s), someone invoking God’s blessing on themselves or someone/something else, or one person blessing another. We traditionally end our worship with a benediction, a blessing. Blessings can be spoken, written, or sung, they may be accompanied by a laying on of hands or an anointing with oil. A blessing may be general in nature or specific. Some traditional examples of specific blessings are blessing/asking God’s blessing on our food before we eat, the blessing of a couple upon their marriage, or the blessing of a home. Some newer examples of blessing that churches are practicing are annual pet blessings, the blessing of backpacks at the start of a new school year, or even the blessing of bicycles (especially in more urban environments). The practice of blessing is all around us in our life and faith.
When we bless or ask God’s blessing we show our continual reliance upon God for all areas and aspects of our lives. Alongside our trust in God’s providence, blessing also serves as a way for us to put good and positivity out into a world that so often seems full of negativity, conflict, and suffering. To offer a blessing welcomes God’s goodness and mercy to work in our lives and in the world.
When we bless we acknowledge that all things fall under the sovereignty of God and are the work of God’s hands. When we bless we acknowledge that there is nothing outside of God’s power to use for good; be it our good, the good of others, or the good of the world.
To bless is to depend on God. To bless is to extend God’s mercy. To bless is to show God’s love. So let us be a people of blessing. Let us bless the food we eat, the earth beneath our feet, the world around us, the relationships we are in, and the journey of life that lies before us. Let us bless one another, our loved ones, our neighbors, our enemies, and the strangers who cross our path.
May the blessing of our Triune God be with you today and always.