Last week I was thinking about listening forward and backward. Reflecting on the 6 daily rhythms suggested in “Transformed” which I suggested we all read as a church family in Januray. 

Today I want to talk about the rhythm of blessing. 

Our Missional Community has been talking about being “blessed to be a blessing” on and off for a little while.

Caesar suggests, and more importantly, God calls us to be a blessing, it’s the call on God’s people from Adam and Eve, via Abraham and David and Jesus and through the Kingdom that Jesus brought. 

When we look around us we see those who bless us, who use their gifts, skills, talents and resources for our good. God is chief amongst those people, but I am surrounded by favour, both merited and unmerited as other bearers of God’s image chose to bless me. I been given support, prayer, prophetic words, trips, presents, provisions, tools and so much more. I am where I am because I have been blessed. None of us has “made it in our own.”

When we look at ourselves and honestly appraise our capabilities we all have the capacity to bless. I met a guy living on the streets this week and he blessed me. His attitude to life and his refusal to be anything other than friendly and polite to anyone in the town square was challenging. He has so very little at the moment but he has a gift of making and sharing friendship which blessed me. Saying we have nothing to give is self pity, the backhanded sibling of pride. 

Each day, who could we bless? Who can we choose to listen to, rather than talk at, who can we buy a coffee for, over-tip, offer our skills or strength to free of charge? 

Not so they pray a prayer and join our Christian club, sign on the dotted line and pay the money, but so we can share God’s love and blessing with them. 

I am intentional in living my life in a missionary way so that God can work through me to get as many of his children back into relationship with Himself as possible. I want to see the Kingdom come and people to follow Jesus and for that to transform my street, my city and my nation. But I don’t want to scare people by preaching hell and then tick them off as notches on my bible. I want to introduce people to Jesus, let the Holy Spirit show them the mess that sin and disobedience has got them into and walk with them as we learn to move every area of our lives from unbelief to belief. Trusting in a God who loves them, put His image in them and wants to share life with them eternally. 

It’s easy for me to become isolated and judgemental, to take the blessings of salvation and provision and God’s love and use my privilege to look down at or ignore others. It’s harder, but so much more life giving and rewarding to share my blessings. It’s also easy to think I got my blessing from my own effort alone, which is a hugely influential lie in our culture. 

To serve and not be served is the way of our King. It’s a key plank of His Kingdom. 

A rhythm of daily looking to find someone to bless helps us to open our hands and when our hands are open and emptied, God can fill them again. 

There was once a person stood at a well in the desert with a teaspoon. They were commanded to put the teaspoon down into the well and begin watering the desert, a futile task. The person begins this futile task from obedience; the first teaspoon of water hits the ground and where it lands the sand become fertile and lush, encouraged, they go back to the well and try again, the teaspoon has become a table spoon, they continue and the spoon becomes a cup, the cup a bowl, the bowl a bucket and so on until they have the privilege of seeing the whole desert come into bloom and support huge amounts of life. 

I’m challenged to be a blessing, after reading “transformed” the reminder that I am a servant hit hard. I found myself in the university toilets where there was dirty tissue around the sink and on the floor. It was not my job to tidy it up, but I got to do it, to serve and bless the toilet cleaner, the next users if the room. (I’ve been a primary school caretaker so I have empathy for fellow public toilet cleaners alongside a strong stomach and immune system!) it was a tiny thing. I hope to do a lot more, yet it was an important first step in enjoying my identity as a missionary servant, as a friend of all (all of whom are sinners). 

This Sunday we as the wider church family, get a chance to bless our city, person by person.  I’m grateful that the training and teaching I’m getting through KX and all the Kalinowski’s  insights are taking me back to the basics and rebuilding my foundations with greater depth and strength. What we do on Sunday could be a one off, a hot and run…

Or, could you take up the rhythm of daily finding someone to bless, someone to serve, to shower your environment with unmerited favour? You might find you have more joy and more friends very quickly and who knows, you might bump into Holy Spirit, already out there, along the way.