Bread – Blessings

January 7, 2015


Readings for Wednesday, January 7, 2015, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: Isa. 52:7-10; Rev. 2:1-7; John 2:1-11; Psalms 103,114,115

—————————————-

“Count your blessings.” Everyone has heard that statement. How do you do it? Well, you could do this – one, I’m alive; two, I have shelter; three, I have food … That is one way to count your blessings. Another way might be to look at quantity and not “head count.” So, using volume, we might have a bag of blessings or a kilo of love or something like that. Maybe the counting isn’t so much a number as it is just a recognition that, indeed, we have many blessings, not all of which are tangible or measurable. How do I quantify the blessing of a caring spouse? How do I quantify the blessing of my assurance of eternity because of the cross of Christ and His resurrection? How do I measure the new day, the sun, the stars, the cold and the hot, the opportunity? Maybe “count your blessings” is merely the simple prayer of “Give me today, Lord, my daily bread,” recognizing that everything we have, whether we may perceive it as good or bad, is a gift of God, a blessing of God, capable of being transformed in the power of the Holy Spirit, through us, into something which glorifies God.

Today’s readings remind us of three blessings we have in our lives from God.

The first blessing is good news. There is a lot of bad news, but what about the good news? In Isaiah today, we read “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” Isa. 52:7 Many people like me would consider being on a mountain-top to be blessing enough, but what a double blessing that, while you are in a state of wonder about God’s creation, good news is brought to you by a friend, a pastor, a radio station, a book, Scripture? It is the good news of peace, of happiness, of salvation. So God, through His Word in Scripture and made flesh in Jesus Christ, through His disciples, delivers us good news. This is a blessing from God.

The second blessing is good works which proceed from love for Christ. In Revelation, Jesus warns the church in Ephesus that, although they have many good works, these works have migrated from a basis of love for God to a basis in something else, maybe observance of tradition. Jesus says “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.” Rev. 2:4 There are three blessings wrapped up in this message. The first is that we are blessed that, in the power of God, we have the ability to love at all and that, as a result, we have loved Him and others. The second blessing is that we are able to do good things arising from and founded upon that love. The third blessing is even more important though, and that is that we have the blessing of remembrance. In this passage, God calls the Ephesian church to recall their love for Christ and each other, and in the recalling, strengthen the power of their good works. We have no opportunity to recall and turn back if we are blinded to our circumstances or blinded to the truth. The blessing of God in these circumstances is to open our eyes and unstop our ears, bring to our mind who we are and whose we are, and empower us in that remembrance to return in power to Him.

And then we have the blessing of Jesus Himself. In John, we read about the wedding feast where Jesus turns water into wine so that the joy of the wedding is not brought up short. In this short passage Jesus reminds us that He is the creator of our blessings. And He indirectly reminds us that “His time” has not yet occurred, when He will sacrifice Himself for us so that we may share in life ever after. Our blessing is that Jesus often gives us what we think we need (something to help the wedding) (when, as sovereign King, He deems it appropriate) and gives us what He knows we need, but we do not (dealing with our sinful state).

Count your blessings. Impossible! But remember your blessings, recall your blessings – and be that messenger to yourself, the messenger who brings good news. Because in the blessing of recollection, in the blessing of repentance, in the blessing of love, and in the blessing of peace and salvation, we have many blessings indeed.

____________

© 2015 GBF

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: