Blessing sermon ideas

Blessing is the effectual goodness of God in verbal form. It is the authoritative speaking forth of God's shalom over another (as a pronouncement) or the experience of that shalom (as a condition). Blessing is typically a translation of the Hebrew beraka or Greek eulogia, literally meaning to speak well. Related are the Hebrew asre and Greek makarios, describing the positive circumstances or happy disposition of one so favored. As all true blessings have their source in God, blessing is both the gracious channel of divine favor and the wellspring of human gratitude. Our worship and sermons can demonstrate these two facets of blessing.  

Where does the Bible talk about blessing?

The Bible passages below can be used in sermons, prayers, pastoral care, or worship planning focused on blessing.

See also Beatitudes

Sermon ideas about blessing

A father's blessing

Sermons about blessing can point out the importance in the ancient Near East of a father's blessing of his son as a means of conveying inheritance rights, authority, and the family name (Genesis 27Genesis 48:15-16Genesis 49). Importantly, we hear the voice of God the Father only four times in the New Testament. In each case it is the voice of blessing (Mark 1:11, Luke 9:35, John 12:28, Revelation 21:5), with the first two being the elemental blessing: "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." 

Blessing as a liturgical act?

Sermons can also discuss the integral part blessings played in the Israelite liturgy, including the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:22-27) and the frequent pairing with curses to sanction covenantal stipulations (Deuteronomy 11:29Joshua 8:34). Blessings were also employed before meals (1 Samuel 9:13, Matthew 14:19) and especially before the sacramental meal (Matthew 26:26). Most New Testament letters close with a word of blessing—as do many worship services today. 

Blessing as an objective transaction?

More than anemically wishing another well, blessing has an objective weight — a physical reality. Note the visceral reaction of both Isaac and Esau to their awareness that Jacob had stolen the blessing in Genesis 27, or the effectual nature of Balaam's reluctant blessing in Numbers 22–24. Once conferred, blessing can no more be retracted than the wind; it carries a divinely infused life of its own. This is another point to raise in sermons dealing with blessing. 

Blessing and cursing in the Bible

Two sides of the coin of God's justice, blessing and cursing are the natural outcome of obedience and disobedience, respectively; they are also temporal expressions of God's delight in the righteous and steady opposition to the wicked. Sermons about blessing can show that the entire story of the Bible can be summarized as the original bestowal of God's blessing at creation, the introduction of the curse through sin, and the anticipated restoration of God's blessing through redemptive history — from Abraham (Genesis 12) through the Messiah (Isaiah 66:12) to the new creation (Revelation 21:5). 

Blessing as the rhetoric of the Gospel

A final note for sermons about blessing: In human interaction, believers are called to be both agents of blessing to the nations and speakers of blessings — even to those who, like us, are undeserving of them. While cursing has a place in God's justice, it has no place in a believer's vocabulary (Romans 12:14). In times of oppression, the ability to bless one's enemies is a verbal expression of the gracious truth of the gospel and a subversive declaration of trust in God's ultimate victory.  

For followers of Jesus, blessing marks both our person (ontology) and our purpose (teleology): we are blessed to be a blessing. 

Excerpts about blessing 

Following are sample excerpts from on resources about blessing:

"Blessings and woes lie close to each other. In ancient times, good fortune was often taken as a sign of divine favor. But in this week's Gospel reading, Jesus stands that on its head." Sermon Preparation or Illustration by Lawrence Wood from the Christian Century

Worship ideas about blessing

Following are sample excerpts from worship resources about blessing: 

"Blessings can also be spoken over a child for the purpose of declaring God's protection, joy, and wisdom over them. In a blessing the recipient is encouraged, and God is exalted and glorified." Article about Children by Debbie Guinn from Ministry Spark

"May your lives bear the fruit of God's Spirit, as you continue to grow in your knowledge and understanding of God." Blessing by Christine Longhurst from Re:Worship

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