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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Praying blessings on others

Faith invites us to take joy in the gathering of the community

In November we give thanks for all the blessings of God—for friends and family, harvest and health, nation and world. The capacity to see and to name life as a blessing—even amid hurricanes, wars and all manner of political strife—is one of faith’s greatest and most complicated gifts. Faith invites us to take joy and comfort in the gathering of the community, be it family, friends, colleagues or congregation. Faith invites us to experience our life of common purpose and commitments as God’s blessing. Such faith is expressed most profoundly in the words of Psalm 133, which I translate as:

How good and how pleasant indeed,

when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the fine oil upon the head
flowing down upon the beard, upon the
beard of Aaron,
flowing down upon the collar of his robe.
It is like the dew of Hermon, flowing down
upon the hills of Zion.
For there the Lord sends forth the blessing:
life forevermore.


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