No, I haven't been gone for about two weeks. Who me?
Christmas was awesome -- and I claim Christmas as the past two weeks, by the way. Superman and I headed to New Orleans to see friends and family; I felt blessed.
Speaking of blessings...
(Yes, I know that was about the cheesiest transition possible. I'm okay with that.)
So we started teaching the twentysomethings class for real yesterday (first week was introduction, second week we had one person for our Christmas party, and then we were gone for two weeks). Not only did we have about eight people, but we started the book, "The Tough Sayings of Jesus." If you haven't read it and get the opportunity to do so, do it. It's mind-blowing.
Four sessions make up the book, and we're dividing each session in two because they're long, and we like to cover each part thoroughly. Yesterday and next Sunday are on the story of the rich, young ruler who asks Jesus what he can do to receive eternal life. I could get in to what we discussed yesterday, but I really want to talk about blessings.
What are blessings?
Dumb question, right? But I'm totally serious (and TOTALLY revealing my age right now). Here's what the author of TTSOJ says: most of us look at the materialistic things people have as blessings, i.e., if you are wealthy, have a nice house, have your health, you are blessed. In that case, the rich, young ruler would have been seen as blessed. But Jesus basically shows that, while he has all the worldy possessions he needs, the man is not blessed because his identity is based on what the world gives him instead of what Jesus gives him.
Okay, then, back to the question: What are blessings? Can they be material possessions?
I actually e-mailed our young adult minister to get a better feeling for this question, and I did some research on my own (and am seeking help from bloggy Christ-followers), and here's the non-materialistic answers I found:
Jesus (and subsequently, our salvation)
Deliverance from evil
Hearing from God
Following God's ways (which has practical applications: If you don't do x, y won't happen)
On first glance, I gotta admit, I was like, "Well, um, this really isn't going to help me pay the bills or get me a bigger house, etc." But then, I realized, "Oh, WAIT. These are BETTER -- these are blessings the world cannot give." (And, frankly, they're much cooler.) Not only that, but these are from our Heavenly Father, from whom all good and perfect gifts come. WOW!
Anyway, if you have any input on this subject, I'd greatly appreciate it!! And, once I talk with our young adult minister and do some more delving into God's word and find out more, I'll let you know! =)