Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blessing In Fellowship

While reading one of my text books for this semester of study I stumbled across a very interesting context for the word "blessing."  The author asserts that, "Blessing in the Bible is something that unites men and women with God and each other and brings them into a permanent fellowship" (Paul E. Pierson, The Dynamics of Christian Mission).

In this context, the meaning implies that blessing has little to do with individual "divine favour and protection" (as defined in the Oxford dictionary) and more to do with divine communion that fosters unity and intimacy between God and His people - "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one - I in them and you in me - so that they may be brought to complete unity" (John 17:22-23).   Immediately after reading this I began to wonder how this definition of blessing would apply to the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12 where being 'blessed' is the central theme... 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
  • The blessing of the kingdom of heaven is fellowship within God's community.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
  • The blessing of comfort is fellowship with God's Spirit
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."
  • The blessing of inheritance is fellowship in God's kingdom
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."
  • The blessing of abundance is fellowship at God's table
"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."
  •  The blessing of mercy is fellowship with God's heart
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."
  • The blessing of intimacy is fellowship in God's glory
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
  • The blessing of adoption is fellowship in God's family
"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
  • The blessing of the kingdom of heaven is fellowship within God's community 

Blessed are those who live in complete unity with God and His people, who are embraced by the love of the Father, who experience the grace of Jesus Christ and who enjoy fellowship with Holy Spirit! 

Published in October/November 2014 edition of JAC:  Journal of Aggressive Christianity

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