Friday, February 11, 2011

A People of Blessing

A few days ago I did a post on the diverse job description of Hebrew priests, namely that they were both priest, teacher, and doctor.  But having said that, I left out what might be the most important aspect of a priest's job: to bless people.  Numbers chapter six ends with Aaron's blessing, a passage that has come to mean a great deal to me as a minister.

"The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace."

How much would it effect pop culture's view of Christians if we started living to make this idea a reality in people's lives?  We've been priests, in the negative sense at least: a people aloof and distant, disconnected from the everyday problems people face.  We've been teachers, in the negative sense: a people quick to argue and viciously stamp out heresy among non-Christians who do not believe as we believe.  We've often times simply dropped the vocation as healers, and as far as being people of blessing goes, far too often we've been a community only known for our hypocrisy and antagonism.

I say all this knowing that not all Christians are this way.  I, for one, hope I am not, and I have had the pleasure of knowing and being influenced by many Christians who were the embodiment of priest, teacher, doctor, and blesser.  But the exception proves the rule, those people stand out so starkly in our mind because they are so few.

But at the same time, those people have a powerful influence on the ones around them.  Through them, God's glory lightens the world, making it a more pleasant, beautiful, joy filled place.  Imagine what our world would be like if people like that were not the minority, but the majority?

We as Christians are called to be those people.  We are a priesthood of believers, which means that when we accept the name Christian we accept the job description that comes along with it, and that includes not only taking praise to God and teaching and healing, but also blessing.  We must bless the hurting.  We must bless the disenfranchised.  We must bless the widow and the orphan and the poor.  We must bless the immigrant worker who has no rights in our land.  We must bless the Muslim in a Christian land.  We must even bless our enemies.  Blessing must run through our core; it must ooze out of our pores.  It must be part of the fabric of who we are.  We must be a people of blessing.  Otherwise, we might call ourselves Christians, but we will not be a priesthood of believers.

Stopping point: Numbers 6

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