Throwing a Blessing Party
Last Saturday my wife and I threw a Blessing Party. The goal of the evening was to bless our friends and give them encouragement. We based our evening partly on the Jewish tradition of Shabbat. This is a weekly family gathering to usher in the Sabbath. It is also a time of blessing.
Many cultures have times of blessing built into the rhythms of life. Most Spanish-speaking cultures have the Quinceañera, or a blessing party for a girl who is turning fifteen. Jewish cultures have the Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah for boys who are turning thirteen and girls who are turning twelve. In fact, a Jewish person may experience as many as seven different times of blessing in his or her life. However, the American culture does not generally have established times of blessing.
Blessing simply means, “to empower to prosper”, and is a way to imprint God’s image and vision into the mind, heart and soul of another person. A blessing is intended to cause another person to prosper in all areas of life. An example of this is found in 3 John 2, where John says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health just as your soul prospers.”
Our blessing party began with a meal. We offered two different types of soup that our family served our guests. During the meal I asked people to name one way they were personally blessed the previous week.
After the meal we adjourned into the living room. We had each person read a traditional Irish blessing. Some were humorous; others were serious. Then we lit two candles, as in a traditional Shabbat. We followed suit, but made adjustments to the Jewish meaning of the candles. For us, they represented driving away darkness and welcoming in the light of Jesus.
Then, we went around the room and told each person how they were a blessing to us. My wife and children also took turns encouraging our friends. Then, we had parents place their hands on their children while they repeated the priestly blessing in Numbers 6:24-26: “The Lord bless you and keep you…”.
We concluded by having everyone stand up and hold hands, while I prayed a blessing over them. Then we had dessert.
Everyone who came expressed thanks for inviting them. Some even wanted to invite their neighbors and pass the blessing forward.
This is just one way to bless your friends and convey God’s message of unconditional love. Try it in your home!
What are some other ways you can bless people?