Lent 2022 | Day 9: Bless

The word bless is one we don’t use very much in our culture or in the church anymore. One of the reasons is we no longer have a clear understanding of its purpose. The idea of blessing is often attributed to what happens before a meal or after someone sneezes. But this is a radical diminishing of the purpose of the blessing.

When the Bible speaks about blessing it is calling us to be aware of a relationship. The relationship that is supposed to exist between God and his people. God desires to bless us because of who we become when we enter into a relationship with them. The promise of the gospel is that when we trust in Christ we are adopted into the family of God. And as a result of this God takes ownership and responsibility to care for us. In this care, we experience the kind of love that awakens us to the beauty and majesty of God himself.

The reality of our relationship with God is most clearly seen when we find ourselves feeling distant from him. When we sin or when we find ourselves falling short of what we desire to be we project those feelings onto God. But God is not hindered by our emotional fluctuations or our physical failures. As a matter of fact, what we do or get wrong does not affect God’s consistent character.

As we walk this life with God and with others we experience blessing when we are able to live out the fullness of what God has been putting within us. What I imagine this means is that when we embrace the transformation the gospel initiates, we no longer become conscious of what needs to be fixed. Rather we live out our lives in as normal a way as we can. In the same way that many of us have no consciousness of our breathing until we think about it, the Christian life can be just as normal. Where we’re living our lives embodying the fullness of the gospel’s promises without giving them much thought.

God is not hindered by our emotional fluctuations or our physical failures. As a matter of fact, what we do or get wrong does not affect God’s consistent character.

Spiritual maturity is evidenced by this instinctive living out of the gospel’s imperatives. When we are able to do what we believe in, in an almost instinctive manner, we have moved into a deeper understanding of the faith. Not because we have some academic proficiency but because we have internalized the fullness of God’s grace.

This is what it means to be blessed. Where there is this mindfulness of what is good and true. We were able to enjoy the simple and often times mundane realities of life. Where we can identify those moments where God’s grace punctuates the seemingly ordinary and makes it something more. It is in this transformed thinking that we see all that could be even when it is not realized in our lives.

In many ways, this is the hope of Easter morning. That what was only a potential hope has become a reality that is undeniable in our lives. But we’re not there yet. There is still some time before we can revel in the fullness of God’s glorious grace as celebrated on resurrection Sunday.

For now, we continue our journey through the season of Lent. Considering what is yet to come in the light of where we are. It can be challenging to pause and look and see what is happening to us and around us. But if we don’t take the time to reflect and consider what God is trying to do even now, we may very well end up missing how God is shaping us in the process of this journey.

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