February 2022

Saturday, 15 January 2022 11:56 Be the first to comment!

What is a blessing? ....

Recently at St. Hilda’s Bilsborrow we held the annual Plough Service, an occasion to bless the plough and the seed ready for the working year ahead. By doing that we are asking God’s blessing upon a piece of human endeavour and it is also opportunity to pray for farms and farmers. During the service I asked the question, “What is a blessing?”

We use the word blessing to express favour. It can be a greeting or a farewell. It expresses all that we want for other people, and for ourselves and all that we hope for from God. In the Bible, a blessing is a word charged with power, through which God Himself, or one who represents Him, causes the joy of life to descend upon people, animals and things. To bless is to see life not as a purely natural phenomenon, but as the gift of God, vulnerable to the workings of the natural world and to the sinfulness of human beings and therefore needing to be hallowed and placed within the sphere of God’s grace and mercy. So when I blessed the plough and seed or give a blessing at the end of a service we do not draw from within ourselves but from the overflowing bounty of God.

A blessing is our praise and thanksgiving. It is our hope and prayer. It is God’s grace and glory poured out to us and that grace and glory are never stinted. Just as when Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding and produced gallons of the stuff and His distribution of the five loaves and two fishes produced twelve baskets of surplus.

Blessings are a sign of God’s love, they direct our attention to His active presence in and around us. St. Ambrose put it well. You may not be rich. You may not be able to bequeath any great possessions to your children. But one thing you can give them, the heritage of your blessing. And it is better to be blessed than to be rich.

As we asked God’s blessing on the plough, on the work of farms and farmers, we could do so with confidence and with faith. For when our eyes are open to God and the things of God and our hearts are open to those in need, He never hesitates to pour out His blessings upon us. And for that, thanks be to God.

With every blessing,


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