Today we’re going to be talking about blessings. In order to talk about that, we need to know what it means to be blessed. The word “blessed” actually pops up a lot in social media. More specifically, #Blessed pops up a lot in social media. This is a phrase that we often see on Facebook or Twitter when something happens to someone that they think is proof that God loves them or is happy with them for some reason AND it’s something that they want to share with the world. Usually it has something to do with some material thing that you or someone you know worked really hard for and that you feel like God helped with in some way. Here are a couple of examples:
Now, some of those are pretty funny and they’re easy to laugh at, but this begs the question: doesn’t it feel like we’re experiencing God’s favor when legitimately good things happen? You got an unexpected promotion. You are the first person to go to college in your family. You got a car that you weren’t able to afford in the past. Those kinds of things really do seem like God or the Universe or the Divine is smiling on us, favoring us. Blessing us. We want to say they make us blessed. Of course we don’t like to think about the opposite… if things don’t go our way, if we’re not seeing “blessings” – then what does that mean? Am I doing something wrong, am I not a good person because God isn’t giving me things or healthy relationships?
We can’t have it both ways. If a life that’s going well means God is blessing us, then a life that’s not means God is cursing us. (And that’s actually a really popular idea in religions around the world and throughout time. We even find it in our own tradition, as we’ll see today).
But what if that’s not what’s going on? What if we can’t use prosperity as a way to measure God’s presence? What if we’ve got blessing all wrong?
Let’s explore the possibility that blessing is about God’s presence. Being #blessed isn’t the quality of the stuff we have, but rather shown in our relationships with each other.