Prepare to listen. Be still and hear these words of the Lord: Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. (Isaiah 55:3)
Read Psalm 63:1-8
1O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
5My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
6when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
8My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
It’s typical today for us to ask for and expect God to bless us, and we often presume his blessing will come in the sort of stuff we want. When someone experiences good, we assume God has blessed them and may even say, ‘You deserve to be blessed.’ We equate prosperity or something good happening to us with being blessed. Therefore, it’s less typical for us, as God’s people, to bless God. We can’t, we think, make God more prosperous or help God experience good things in life, therefore blessing God isn’t on our radar. But it was on the psalmist’s radar, who promised to bless God ‘as long as I live,’ that is, with my whole life. She was more concerned to bless God than for God to bless her. Psalmists believed blessing God was a daily necessity not an optional extra. Their concept of blessing was very different to our me-oriented one today. We bless God, not by giving him lots of stuff, although we can and should do that, but by refusing to take life and what it brings for granted. We bless God when we give back thanks and praise for what God has given to us, be that for morning toast, a child’s laughter that warmed our heart, a warm bed at night, a good book, snow that turns the world into a wonderland.
Complete this sentence now and at various times during the day: Lord, you are blessed, you have …. Let it relate to whatever you’re doing, whatever around you that gets your attention.
Respond to Jesus in prayer
“Blessed are you, O Lord, whose majesty gives light to the world. Amen.” (A Jewish blessing.)
Go and live obediently in the world remembering to bless God in all things.
Reading the Bible has always been essential to followers of Jesus. I've been reading, studying, teaching and writing reflections on biblical texts for as long as I can remember. I invite you to read the Bible with me during the Lent and into Easter Sunday.