Going Deeper 5-15-19

‚ÄčThe Psalm for Easter 5...
Psalm 67   May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.  Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.  Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.  The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us.  May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.

This Psalm echoes Aaron's blessing from Numbers 6, words very familiar to those who have grown up with liturgical worship... "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor, and give you peace."  These words of blessing have been spoken in churches around the world for many generations.  They are beautiful words.  

This is a very beautiful and important Psalm, one which reflects a vitally important truth: God blesses His children to demonstrate His love for them and in order to make it possible for them to be a blessing to others.  To neglect to see the second part of the blessing has led to a great deal of misunderstanding ever since they were first spoken to the descendants of Abraham.  That misunderstanding continues to this day.

God does not bless us only because He loves us, and certainly does not bless us according to our merit.  God showers grace and blessing upon us even though/when we are undeserving... which in truth is almost all of the time.  We are blessed because God is good, not because we are good.

And to understand that we are blessed in order to be a blessing to others leads to the greatest blessing of all: the gift of a meaning-filled life, a life which reflects how we were created to live.  God gifts His children (and He always has) with opportunities to love and care for one another, and when this happens, everyone and everything is blessed.  A gratitude-fueled generosity reflects the heart of our Creator and has the power to draw others back into a relationship with Him.

May God bless us, and may we bless others, this day and every day!

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."