The Gift of a Blessing

Amy Clemens

Read: Luke 2:25-35

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. (v. 33)

It would be fair to say I’ve put a lot of distance between myself and childhood, but recently, while dividing sweet memories from the bitter, I found myself in the chancel of a Methodist church, remembering that once upon a time I had been held there by my grandfather, a Mennonite pastor, who entered it that day to bless and name me “consecrated.” I picked a pew beneath towering stained glass and sat crying. What a long, long journey. So much pain; so many falls–but what a faithful God. That blessing had been more desperately needed than anyone knew, and from my place under the stained glass, I revisited the mystery of a life set apart for God’s purposes.

Jesus had a story of being blessed by a devout man too. Like my grandfather, Simeon passed on a faith-filled blessing. Mary and Joseph marveled at the things Simeon said, and Mary treasured them up, pondering them in her heart. And whether Jesus remembered it consciously, he was probably told stories of his childhood many times, just like I was. Neither Simeon nor my grandfather could have known the incredible, difficult journey that would follow their blessing. Their gift was to bless us on our journey, trusting its end to our Maker.

—Amy Clemens

Giver of good gifts, thank you for passing along your blessing to us in a faithful Savior; may we bless the children around us this Advent, remembering that of such is the kingdom of God.