Sunday, March 11, 2007

Reflection, March 11, 2007

Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of March 11, 2007

As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

When blessing is denied

"Then Esau said, 'Have you not reserved a blessing for me?'"
Genesis 27:36d

The concept of blessing is ancient and found in many cultures. We can learn and appropriate the Jewish tradition of blessing for our own use in modern Western cultural contexts. If we get a blessing from our parents, we can be a source of blessing to others and ourselves. Families that withhold or deny blessings are very hurtful to their children.

Blessing is well documented in the Middle East. In ancient Jewish culture, blessing was part of daily and weekly life. Before children could walk, they received blessings from their parents, on the Sabbath, and other holy days. It was actually the duty of parents to bless their children. It was then the duty of the rabbis to bless the children on Sabbath, feast, and other holy days. A family blessing is important to communicate a sense of identity, meaning, love, and acceptance. Many orthodox Jewish families give their children a weekly blessing by candlelight. They speak special words of love and acceptance for each child.

I have listened to many people over the years when their families reject them. I wonder if parents truly understand the pain caused when a blessing is denied their children. People are denied parental blessing for many reasons. Perhaps a desperate woman had an abortion, or another has taken drugs. Many parents from abusive homes never received a blessing themselves and pass on their destructive behaviors to the next generation. Denied blessing can lead to desperate and destructive behaviors as people look for love in all the wrong places.

The six most healing words in the world are "God bless you" and "I love you." When was the last time we spoke those words to someone in our family? When was the last time we shared these words with friends? Have we denied someone their blessing through our words or actions?

God, even if others may have denied me a blessing, help me bless them. Amen.

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