Today's Lectionary Text
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
“Why do you volunteer here at Wesley?” the young new volunteer, a student at Wichita State, asked me. What a great question! How cool that he was comfortable and perceptive enough to ask it.
This covenant passage from Genesis entered into my answer. Not literally, but the answer I gave him reflects the blessing stuff that was going on here. God tells Abram that he (Abram) will be blessed. Then, God adds the reason Abram will be blessed is to be a blessing.
When I volunteer at the hospital, I get to have contact with patients and other volunteers who have different backgrounds and different experiences than my own. They will be, perhaps, people I do not know, who are sick, who live on the street, who are grumpy, mean, nasty. Most of the time the patients are extremely grateful for what I can offer them. Sometimes they are so ill and feel so lousy that nothing can help. Regardless, I usually discover that I'm the one who receives the greatest benefit, the blessing. Then I realize that I need to try to share that blessing again, outside myself and my “little world.”
A group of women from a church line dancing class wrote down ways they had recently reached out beyond themselves to be a blessing in the world. Their responses included encouraging a person who had just lost a pet, accepting a young man into a group, babysitting grandbabies, donating money or items, serving at the Lord’s Diner. This last person noted that, “This was a blessing to me too.” These are all pretty much easy and obvious actions. Opportunities appeared and these folks took them
We can all do similar things and be a blessing to someone else. Our eyes just need to be open to the opportunities that surround us, our whole beings primed to grab chances to reach out. Look around you. Offer blessing wherever you might find yourself today in this hurting and troubled world. This could be a great Lenten exercise -- opening our eyes wider in order to discover unexpected and surprising opportunities to offer God’s blessing in the wide world. Who knows? We just might be blessed ourselves in the process.
Prayer for Reflection
Show us the openings today, Holy One, to bless in your name. Amen
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