Word of the Month

Spiritual blessing

May 2005

Before returning to His Father in heaven after His sacrificial death and resurrection, Christ blessed His disciples: "Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven" (Luke 24: 51). Today too the Lord dispenses blessings in various ways. Just think of Holy Baptism - blessing beyond compare: original sin is washed away, debt is erased, and the Lord makes a covenant with a human being. And then there is the great blessing connected with Holy Sealing when the gift of the Holy Spirit is dispensed through prayer and laying-on of hands of an apostle. This act transforms a human being into a new creature in Christ, a child of God, and an heir to future glory.

Blessing is also dispensed at such occasions as confirmation, weddings, and ordinations. And at the end of each divine service, the closing benediction is pronounced: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13: 14). This divine promise rends us capable of walking through the following days with God.

There are both earthly and spiritual blessings. Most of the time people value earthly blessings more than the spiritual. After all, how nice it is when our bank account grows, when we get ahead in our professions, when our family prospers, and when we remain healthy well into high age. In other words, whatever good things we can think of are perceived as blessing.

Still, spiritual blessing is more valuable! God can - if He wishes - bless us in the natural. But those who are spiritually blessed can be truly happy! What is spiritual blessing then?

Being able to believe, being prompted to pray, being charitable, following joyfully, and remaining faithful until the end - that is spiritual blessing. Our heavenly Father grants us all these gifts in His immeasurable love. God said to Abraham: "I will bless you … and you shall be a blessing" (Genesis 12: 2). These words also apply to us: God blesses us, and we can - and should be - a blessing. How? By being a testimony of our faith, by encouraging those who have become tired to draw new strength and joy, by helping to carry the weak, by bringing back the lost, by having a kind word for everyone, and helping others when they are in need. Such works make us happy and will bring us peace.

We will receive the greatest blessing on the day of the Lord, when we will be accepted in grace. This blessing will not only leave us happy but also make us glorious! Let us strive after this blessing tirelessly and with all the strength of our faith!

(From a service by the chief apostle)