St. Johns Parish Church Johns Island SC

Blessing and Vision

Blessing Grace Chapel

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9)

Mini Conference with Rev. Dr. Russ Parker

Last weekend, The Reverend Dr. Russ Parker called us a parish to journey into the “life giving rhythm” of blessing, and what a blessing we were called to for our church and parishioners that day.
Russ opened his message: “We are on the threshold of a whole new way of doing church—lots of baggage needs to be put down as we journey to a new version of the promised land where we will flourish. Our hope is in the God we serve!” Laying aside our “had hopes,” St John’s parish family can move forward into God’s new thing because our hope is a person—the Lord Jesus Christ; our hope is a promise—that God will be with us wherever we go; and “our hope is a power that brings renewed perspective through the empowering of the Holy Spirit.”
The word blessing in the old Teutonic German bletsian refers to blood sacrifices. All blessing comes to us through the “costly blood sacrifice” of God’s beloved Son Jesus. Much more than a word of encouragement or thanksgiving, blessing reminds us of the closeness of our Father God and the cost of our sins in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The Hebrew word for blessing is barak, which means knee, as in a show of respect accompanied by bowing or bending the knee. The Service of Blessing pronounces that “God will always serve our need to flourish in the way He knows we need,” so we pray for insight into what would enable those who will occupy these buildings to "flourish".
In the New Testament, the Greek word for blessing eulogia has two meanings, the powerful effects of consecrated speech and the condition of those who are blessed. Blessing is not white-washing and far more than well-wishing.  To bless another with well-words “launches a ship of expectation” that empowers people to "flourish".
Another Greek word for blessing is markarios—the life of blessing. The Beatitudes reveal what blessing looks like in the context of everyday life: “blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
From the core DNA of blessing—bletsian, barak, eulogia, and markarios, we encounter the purposes of blessing:

Blessing Brings God Closer  
When we bless someone to flourish, we are bringing God’s immediate, intimate presence closer.

The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them (Numbers 6: 25-27).

Blessing Connects Us with God’s Heavenly Purposes
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14)
The Ministry of Blessing by Russ Parker
Sunday May 22, Sermon by Rev. Dr. Russ Parker
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