I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. (Gen. 12:2)
We gathered in a circle at my small church and answered the question, “What brought you to this church, and why do you stay?” Answers included, “This is the only church where I feel welcome,” “This church is like my family,” and “I never would have made it through rehab without this church.” All pointed to the fact that we’re blessed to be part of this church. In addition, we’re a blessing to others, like the families that use the food pantry.
God’s plan all along, from Genesis to Revelation, is to call a people who bear his name, who are blessed by God, and who together, through the Spirit, reveal the very presence of God in the world. Often in the Bible, the word you is plural; my daughter-in-law would say “y’all.” It’s more than a group of individuals, it’s a people together, one community.
Near the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis, God called Abraham to leave his home, and promised that he’d become a great nation representing God to the world (Gen. 12:1-3). Near the end, in Revelation, a loud voice proclaims, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people” (Rev. 21:3). Cover to cover, the Bible is filled with the theme of a people called and in turn blessed by God to be a blessing.
As you pray, ask God to strengthen your church community to honor his name, being blessed to be a blessing.