A FRIDAY MEDITATION – Blessings not Cursings

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving spirit may so move every human heart [and especially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. ~ Prayer for Social Justice, The Book of Common Prayer

Ugh. I wasn’t going to write about this – the political stuff running rampant – the hateful, fearful rhetoric surrounding the political campaigns which will most likely continue for some time.  I wasn’t going to do it. But what is a follower of Jesus to do about this? How do we respond? How do I respond?

“Bless instead of curse.”

The phrase wanders around in my head as I sit with the question.  We know that we are to pray for our leaders no matter who gets elected.  Even when it’s hard.  Even when we don’t want to. I think it was Frederick Buechner who said, “Go where your best prayers take you.”  If we do that where will we go?  What will we do?  What will I do? Does it not depend upon what our best prayers say?

“Bless instead of curse.”

Does that mean that I am not get caught up in hateful speech no matter what we believe or about whom we believe it? I think so, even though I may not agree with what they do or say. Recently, I have been praying for God to bless our presidential candidates. I pray that God will touch each of them with his holy spirit and guide them in the days to come.  I pray for God’s will to be done in their lives. The Book of Common Prayer gives this prayer, “O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders [and potential leaders] of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth.” The people are to respond, “Lord keep this nation under your care.”  Or we can say, “Amen.” We can start here.

“Bless instead of curse.”

Today while praying I heard God say, “Now you bless them?” Oh! That puts a different slant on things, doesn’t it? What is an apprentice of Jesus to do, here? Does it just mean that I/we say, “Bless so and so?” Donald and Hillary in this case and it is this case. How do I do this? Jesus not only said bless and not curse, but do good to them, also.  What does that mean?  It doesn’t mean, “Bless your little heart, you pour little misinformed one.”  But I believe it means that I am to bless them with all good. Oh boy, do I have my work cut out for me. Maybe you, do too.

Will blessing make a difference in the outcome? I hope so. I pray so. I believe that’s why God said so. But I know it’ll make a difference in me.

“I bless you with knowing the joy of the Lord that is your strength.

I bless you with knowing joy in his faithfulness in profound and life-giving ways.

I bless you with remembering times when he showed you his faithfulness.

I bless you with enlarging your spirit to know profoundly and deeply that your Father is pleased with you.

I bless you with receiving the truth of your identity, legitimacy and birthright.

I bless you with knowing who you are in your Father’s eyes and in drinking deeply of the joy that he has in who you are.” ~ Sylvia Gunter, Blessing Your Spirit

Grace and Peace, Donna

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