BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING
A recent scientific study of 150,000 people over 25 years has found that our level of happiness has little to do with our genetic make-up, personality traits or childhood, and that factors such as partner’s temperament, faith, social participation, healthy habits and long-term goals are much more important. On the other hand, the pursuit of wealth and material goods, as well as a neurotic partner, are key elements of unhappiness. They could have read the Bible and found that out for free!
The story of Jesus and the ten lepers who are healed teaches us that not only does God bless us, but that we need to bless God. Jesus told the Samaritan who returned that his faith had made him well. The others were blessed with physical healing, but in the act of thanking God he was made whole. That is why we come to church – to give thanks to God for all our blessings, and when we come to church in that frame of mind, we go home blessed. Singing praises to God is more than having a “good sing” – it links us to the source of life and joy.
When we know we are blessed and we thank God, we discover that we are called to be a blessing to others. It gives us a purpose in life that brings a deep sense of satisfaction and joy. In fact the Bible does not promise us happiness, but something better and deeper – joy. God does not promise that life will be all smooth sailing – in fact the opposite; but God does promise that He will be always with us and will give us that deep joy even in the midst of adversity.
The study is right when it says that we actually have a choice about how happy we will be. Choosing whether to be a blesser is an important start, having faith, sharing in a faith community and responding to Jesus’ call to be a blessing to others will bring life and joy.
It is the same with congregations. If our congregation thanks and praises God and is a blessing to our community, it will be blessed and made whole. We are blessed to be a blessing!
13 October, 2019 – Pentecost 18