God Bless...

It is not something we tend to say in the UK at the end of a political rally or speech 'God Bless the UK' but we've heard it a lot in the US. I wonder if the final seal on a potential presidents speech in order to claim authority is to finish with the line: God Bless America?

I want God to bless America, but I also want God to bless Scotland and Syria and Libya and Ethiopia and Iraq and just about every nation on the planet.

What kind of blessing is this that is being called for? It implies power and wealth and standing. It is as if these things as a gift from God.

The Bible isn't quite that certain. We're reading the story of the widow of Zarephath where the blessing of God comes to a widow and her son and a prophet of a jar of oil and a jar of flour being replenished each day, so there is just enough for tomorrow.

This isn't a new story as the same blessing had been given to the whole nation of Israel in the wilderness as they ate manna: just enough for that day. More tomorrow but don't store up. God will provide.

Now to read these stories in the context of what we claim to be God's blessing the bible tends to come down on the side of God's Blessing being 'just enough' for life today. Just enough to for everyone to have enough, and perhaps the evidence of God's blessing is when we shape a community, nation, neighbourhood round having just enough for all.

That would be a world-changing day when any candidate who called down God’s Blessing at the end of a rally didn't imply we have a special blessing, a special relationship with God that others don’t, but was an intent and belief that said we will live by just enough so all might have life.

Probably not quite as popular a blessing but perhaps more authentic to the bible. It's not something we tend to say, but perhaps we ought, simply to seal our nation's life with the vision of God to live by just enough.


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