Monday, June 11, 2012

Newark Central Knapsack 6-13

Newark Central -- Notes From My Knapsack

June 13, 2012


With the approach of Father's Day, I think about a book that's now over 25 years old, but has a message that's as relevant now as it was then, if not more so.


It's called "The Blessing" by John Trent & Gary Smalley, and it talks about something that we see young men looking for in so many wrong and tragic ways, then and now. It's summed up neatly in the title itself: "The Blessing." A blessing, from father to son.


The book looks at Biblical models for the imparting of a blessing from a father, or father figure, to a child, but particularly to a son. There's an element of touch, whether hands on a head or just a gentle grasp of a shoulder. There are words spoken that are clear and unambiguous, and there is a reminder of a tradition, of hopes, and of the assurance that one way or another, the one being blessed will always have you in their corner.


It's a rough summary, but it gets the point across. Young men over the last few decades have been left unsure and uncertain about what it means to be a man, about how they can become better men. And they need to hear this guidance, even if in brief, and awkwardly put, from an elder they respect and value. Ideally, this is their own biological father, but if such a blessing comes from another person they respect and value, whether an uncle, a friend of the family, even an older female, it can have much the same effect.


As it is, many young men have distant, cloudy relationships with the mentors and father figures in their lives, and they've never had a moment when they clearly were given a . . . blessing, a passing of the torch, an affirmation from one who has walked this lonesome valley that the youthful one will find their path, and walk it to a brighter day.


We see this process go astray with Isaac and his sons, but we understand how important a blessing can be, for both Esau and Jacob; Elijah blesses his student Elisha; Elizabeth blesses Mary. Blessings between generations are all through scripture.


How might we, in the life of the church, help to reawaken the practice of "blessing," from fathers to sons, and beyond, so that no one reaches adulthood without knowing their journey to maturity as being blessed?


In grace & peace, Pastor Jeff

No comments:

Post a Comment