“Praise God from whom all blessings flow…” The Doxology
All blessings flow...if they are truly blessings. That's the nature of a blessing. It is meant to be passed on and keep blessing.
The other morning as I was driving to meet my fellow interfaith clergy for our monthly breakfast I hit the seat warmer button in the car. Now, mind you, this was not something I sought when I bought my car. It was just a feature the car had. But this particular morning was cold, and I hit the button out of curiosity because it hasn't worked since right after I bought the car. Isn't that how special features usually work?
However, on this morning it did, for the first time in years. So I jokingly said to my colleagues as I joined them, "How can you tell you are living in a first world country? When the reason you feel blessed is your seat warmer in the car works." They all gave me a strange look, much like I'm sure you are doing right now.
But, in truth, don't most of us think of blessings as what blesses us? There is a certain selfish nobility about Thanksgiving when we give thanks for our blessings, because they make our lives better or more sustainable. This is certainly good and appropriate, for what kind of people would we be if we can't say thanks for the things that bless us?
But a true blessing is meant to be more. There's that word again. We've been talking about MORE throughout our stewardship series. When we consider something a blessing it means we have been equipped to be a blessing. Otherwise, blessings cease. They are just riches, or talent, or intellect, or possessions. But if we see these gifts as blessings, we consider how God uses what we have to bless others.
So this Thanksgiving how are you blessed? What are the gifts you have received in your life that can flow through you to bless others? What is the love you have received from people in your life that might flow through you? What are the resources you have received that can become tangible expressions of compassion? What are the opportunities for education and career advancement that position you to help others?
At the same time, what blessings have changed in your life this year? Sometimes we think about people or things no longer with us. It feels like a blessing is removed from our lives, but if they are true blessings they are never removed. They are taking on new expression through us. How have those gifts not only made us who we are, but continue to shape who God is making us to be?
God wants every one of us, no matter what we have, to feel blessed, and we truly feel blessed when we live as blessings.
Praise God from who all blessings flow!
See You Sunday,