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. Numbers 6:24-26 NIV
About a year and a half ago my wife and I retired and moved to Florida. Moving meant getting used to a new neighborhood, finding new doctors and most importantly of all finding a new place to call our church home. Moving from a small Brazilian church to an American mega-church was in many ways great. It was awesome praising God together with so many people and it is a joy witnessing new baptisms monthly. But the end of our Sunday services always felt like an important something was left out. This week I realized that what I was missing was the blessing from the book of Numbers that our pastor had always prayed. I was suddenly so sorry for just taking his blessing for granted. (I sent a message to him yesterday thanking him).
One of the really neat cultural things we learned from our Brazilian church was the concept of blessing. Not only in church was blessing a big deal, but even in the home. In the older generation after families got together for a visit (always with lots of food!) the children could not leave with asking the older relatives for bênçãos (blessings). “Bencoes tio (Uncle), Bencoes pa-pai(Daddy) or bencoes vo-vo (Grampa)” they would ask as they took the hands of the older relatives. Did you ever stop to realize how many of the blessings that God gives us that we take for granted? Maybe even just as importantly have we considered how important it is for us to use every opportunity that we have to bless others.
The blessing our pastor always prayed was the one that God commanded Aaron the High Priest to bless the people of Israel with. I’m not sure if this is an illustration of God’s grace or His sense of humor. After all God was asking the same man who had made the golden calf while Moses was up on the mountain to bless His people! So don’t think that because you have messed up with your family, friends or church that God cannot also entrust you with a blessing to give. One part of God’s healing process in our lives is to find ourselves at a place where we can impart blessings to others. So this coming Sunday when you leave church whether on-line or in person, don’t think lightly of the blessing given to you and remember to take advantage of the chance to bless others. Have a blessed week everyone!