I love the word ‘blessing’ – I go around blessing everyone – even a database company I hired set my password up as ‘blessings’ because I blessed them so much – too funny. So you know I love the new year and all the possibilities I have too bless.
It is possible that I am consumed by blessings because I am very much aware of curses. God was clear when promising Abraham that there were curses as well. So when Cain was cursed with a mark, and some think it was wild and ferocious in nature that it rendered him an object of universal horror and avoidance, I believe that I can be an object that people can see the face of God. Amy Grant came out with a song when I was a teenager, My Father’s Eyes, and it was a prayer of mine that others could see that I had my Father’s eyes.
So when Jesus arrived, it had to be His plan to further His kingdom – I believe that He came and aspired to world domination and to deliver His blessing. The temptations in the wilderness all took aim at that aspiration, trying to make Him take a shortcut, adopt the methods of the curse. I love this quote from Marcus Dods that reflects why the road to blessing/redemption was through the path of suffering —
Satan whispered, “You have come to bind men in a universal brotherhood, but it is hopeless to effect this by acting on men individually and spiritually. Men do not care to be delivered from sin; they do not wish to be led back to God, and you will never make the world what you wish it. But make an earthly kingdom for yourself; that is possible; no mere shadowy imagination. The people are now waiting for a leader who will throw off for them the Roman yoke, and lead them to dominion.” We know it when we wish Christ had provided for his people earthly good as well as spiritual. Nothing but a preference for what is spiritual will secure us against the temptation to wish, either for ourselves or others, what constitutes the glory of this world.
What does that look like for me? I think that I keep forgetting about the universality of Christ and at the same time His uniqueness. The Lausanne Covenant would probably be my version of the Nicene Creed when it comes to my missional statement. It is my book of Acts in covenant form. In particular, my interest would be in Covenant #3 for today.
If Ezra could see the ‘kingdom’ that describes a king’s rule – and if Jesus is my example on how to lead – then my blessing is to decrease that He might be an increase and in truth, a blessing to a world entering 2017 with quite some uncertainty.
Lord, may You lead me and teach me to be that blessing and to bring about your kingdom in 2017.