Sometimes we forget that we should be blessing other people. Maybe we think that we are somehow not qualified to bless others. Although in this passage it is Jesus who is doing the blessing, it does not mean that you and I cannot bless other people. There are blessings throughout the Bible, and in the history of the Christian church. By blessing others we are participating in an ancient tradition.
A blessing, or a benediction, is simply a prayer that asks God to confer on another a measure of his love and grace. When we say a blessing, we are claiming, through faith, that God's will is for the object of the prayer to be blessed. We may think that it is audacious to pronounce blessings, but it is actually claiming what God has already promised. As we bless others we should follow the example of Jesus in this passage.
- Speak encouraging words to those whom we desire to bless. For many, receiving a blessing will be a new experience. It can be a little awkward at first. Begin by sharing assuring words of comfort and explanation.
- Touch the people you seek to bless. A hand on the forehead is often a good way to pronounce a blessing. Other options include holding hands or touching a shoulder. Always be sure that you do not make anyone uncomfortable. Notice that Jesus' purpose was to put others at ease.
- Say the blessing.
This may be difficult at first, but you will soon become comfortable with blessing others. This has the potential to change your life, and the lives of all those that you might bless along the way.
PRAYER: May the Lord bless you with good health, grace, peace and love. May the Creator of all keep and sustain you in all you do. And may the Holy Spirit dwell in your heart now and always. Amen.