A Daily Dose of Good News
Friday, May 1, 2020
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
The Promise of Blessing
The history of our family of faith
Starts with a promise.
Out of all the other heretofore
Polytheistic persons of the world,
God claimed one named Abram
With a promise of blessing
That would reveal the nature of true blessing
With blessing for all the world.
Through no merit or achievement of their own
God chooses to bless an elderly barren couple
With an unlikely family
And an even more unlikely homeland
But not for their own personal pleasure and privilege.
For that’s not the nature of blessing:
To show preference for one person or set of persons
Over and against all others.
God chose to bless Abram and his wife Sarai
In order that God’s blessing might flow to all other people
For that is the nature of blessing,
God-ordained blessing anyway.
God-ordained blessing is iterative
Such that the blessing flows from one
To another to another to the next.
And that promise of blessing
Has been handed down through the family of the faith
From Abram and Sarai
All the way to our current confirmation class at Holy Trinity.
Next Sunday was supposed to be the Confirmation Day
For seven 8th graders in our congregation.
As we are continuing to shelter in place though,
That festival day is being rescheduled for September 21 next fall
When family and congregation can gather around each young person
To confirm her or his affirmation of baptism.
In the meantime,
The group has been working with at-home confirmation materials
For the class couple months
And the lesson last week was on the Hymn of Humility
That Paul wrote to the Philippians
As God’s promise of blessing continues to flow
Even after Jesus’ resurrection:
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was[a] in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
The family prompt for conversation around the study was:
Remember a time when you were blessed as much and more
While blessing others.
One of the students emailed back:
“Whenever we serve at the Y Family Center it is so fun and we food after.
We are helping others, but it feels like we are getting, too”
God’s promise of blessing continues to flow
In God’s family of faith still today.
Thanks be to God for the promise of blessing in your lives too. Amen