social spark Aisling Beatha: Blessings, Part 14


Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy your stay, however short, and find something that interests and blesses you.

The tabs just below will take you to posts of particular topics. So if you are looking for my posts on food, fitness or creativity, you will find them there. You will also find my posts on thankfulness or other more contemplative posts, as well as a set of posts with traditional blessings from a number of different cultures.

You can find posts with labels not included in that list via the labels list over in the sidebar.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Blessings, Part 14

Some thoughts on the blessing upon the firstborn, included in todays traditional Blessings and Prayers:

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (The Message)
 23-24 May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it!

2 Peter 1:2 (The Message)
 2 Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.

Jacob blesses the sons of Joseph in Genesis 48:20. The text says that when Joseph brought his two sons to Jacob (Israel) to receive his blessing, he brought his firstborn, Manasseh, under his father's right hand (which is the hand for bestowing the blessing of the firstborn) and his second-born, Ephraim, under his father's left hand. At that moment, Israel crosses his arms and places his right hand on Ephraim's head and places his left hand on Manasseh's head. He then proclaims the blessing of the firstborn on Ephraim. The text says that from that point on, Israel will pronounce the blessing: May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh. Since that time, for 3000 years, many Jewish (and even Christian) fathers have spoken this verbal blessing over their children.

Jesus came up under his right hand as the firstborn, and I came up under his left hand as the second-born. God then made a Divine preference and crossed his arms, placing his right hand, the hand of blessing upon my head and placing his left hand, the hand of cursing, on Jesus' head. God gave me the blessing of the firstborn son instead of giving it to Jesus.

Thus the verbal blessing of "God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh" is actually a verbal message of salvation! Fathers have spoken this powerful, verbal blessing over their children for 3000 years. And God honours the spoken blessing.
Having seen above  that Jesus, who is at the right hand of the Father, received my curse because of the Divine preference—the crossing of the arms—in bestowing the blessing of the firstborn, what now is the general application of the power of the verbal blessing?

May the fire be in our thoughts
Making them true, good and just,
May it protect us from the evil one.
May the fire be in our eyes;
May it open our eyes to see what is good in life.
We ask that the fire may protect us from what
is not rightfully ours.
May the fire be on our lips, so that we may
speak the truth in kindness; that we
may serve and, encourage others.
May it protect us from speaking evil.
May the fire be in our ears.
We pray that we may hear with a deep,
deep listening
So that we may hear the flow of water,
and of all creation, and the dreaming.
May we be protected from gossip and
from those things
that harm and break down our family.
May the fire be in our arms and hands
so that we may be of service and build up love.
May the fire protect us from all violence.
May the fire be in our whole being - in our legs and in our feet, enabling us to walk the earth with reverence and care; so that we may walk in the ways of goodness and truth and be protected from walking away from what is true.
    - St Patrick's Province, Australia

There are still more to come, I do hope you'll come back tomorrow and read them.

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