DAY 48: Tuesday 5 May
Good morning. This is day 48 of our daily emails.
A word used daily in our language is ‘bless’. Someone sneezes and we instinctively respond with ‘Bless you!’ although in these days when everyone is nervously keeping their distance, it might be ‘get away!’.
Someone who has something of value can be described as being blessed; - blessed with good looks / blessed with good health / blessed with loads of money / blessed with beautiful wife and children / blessed with a great talent / blessed with a strong faith.
To be blessed is to have or own something that hasn’t necessarily been earned or deserved – something that we could describe as a gift. In fact we do sometimes speak of ‘giving a blessing’ so in that sense it is a gift. But just as with any gift, a blessing must first be offered and then accepted and received. If someone blesses us, we have to receive and accept the blessing or else it is worthless. If we turn round when someone offers to pray a blessing over us and we say for example, ‘I don’t believe in that stuff’, then we can’t be blessed. We can reject blessing just as an heir could reject an inheritance – but wouldn’t that be unlikely and illogical ?
There are so many examples in these days of people blessing others – running errands / keeping in touch with lonely or elderly neighbours / giving cake when they only expected bread / sharing our time, resources or talent with someone in need / offering to pray for someone. To bless someone is not only kind, generous and thoughtful, it is fulfilling a Biblical principle. And we are to bless not only our friends and the people we like, but even those who we might perhaps regard as ‘enemies’.
Luke 6:28 - When someone curses you, bless that person in return. When you are mistreated and harassed by others, accept it as your mission to pray for them. (Passion Translation)
1 Peter 3:9 - Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing,
Yesterday I received an email with a link to a song recording released at midday on Sunday entitled ‘The UK Blessing’ recently recorded online by scores of singers and musicians representing over 65 churches of all denominations from across the country. The words are the Priestly Blessing as given by God to Moses for Aaron to speak over the people, and this is often quoted at the end of services.
Numbers 6:24-26 - 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.
As I was listening to the song on my laptop, the phone rang and it was Dorothy Green asking if I had heard of this very same recording. I turned my laptop sound back on so she could hear it as well. Coincidence? I think not.
Then later yesterday afternoon, an email arrived from Anne Roberts with the same link! So you can all share it, here’s the link to The UK Blessing >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U
There’s a golden oldie that we should sing for today’s theme and just over a year ago, I was due to speak at Ladies Hour and Linda Lord asked if we could sing this hymn and chorus.
So here’s a link for Count your Blessings >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fMjgS4vu4o
MAKE YOU SMILE - FUNNY WISDOM
- It's easier to buy trousers with elasticated waistbands than it is to diet
- When you're asked how you are, say ‘I’m well’ not ‘I'm good’
- Behold the turtle who makes progress only when he sticks his neck out
Now for something more serious and challenging. Some of you may remember or read the book ‘Tortured for Christ’ – the story of Pastor Richard & Sabina Wurmbrand, Romanian Christians who were tortured and imprisoned for 18 years from 1948 because of their Christian faith. A film telling their story was made in 2018 on the 70th anniversary of their arrest and is apparently available on Amazon Prime but also can currently be viewed here online >>> https://www.persecution.com/tfcmovieevent/
The film lasts just over 1 hour so set aside a time to watch but be aware there are some brutal scenes right from the start. The story graphically illustrates what it must have been like for the early Church to face persecution, then this provides practical insight into the real cost of following Christ, but also how, despite their suffering, the victims continued to love and bless their persecutors (read Luke 6:28 again).
So how about ensuring that at some point during today we ‘bless’ somebody else, maybe a neighbour? And if somebody blesses us, make sure we accept it, receive it and be thankful for it.
Enjoy this day of blessing