Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Are You Blessed This Thanksgiving?

Hi Friends,

As we think about Thanksgiving this week (at least for those in the US!), I'm thinking about what it really means to be blessed.  Here is something from WRESTLING WITH WONDER to ponder as we consider gratefulness and blessedness, especially when we're not feeling so thankful, not feeling so blessed:


So who is this God who takes what we think we know and redefines it? Who is he who calls the poor rich, the hungry filled, the mighty fallen, the humble lifted high? Who is he who calls us blessed not when life has finally reached perfection but rather when we are struggling along on the journey?
            This is the God of reversals.
            This is the God of upside-down blessings.
            This is the God who says:
                        —Blessed are you who are poor ...
                        —Blessed are you who hunger ...
                        —Blessed are you who weep ...
                        —Blessed are you when people hate you ...
                        —Blessed are you when they exclude and insult you ...
                        —Blessed are you when you’re rejected...
This is the new blessedness ... the reversal of all the world teaches, all our culture says is the way things are supposed to be.
            We think blessing is the arrival at the place where our troubles are gone and we are financially secure, well-fed, happy, liked, included, and spoken well of. Blessing is being accepted on the mountaintop.
            But Mary shows us that through Jesus God has changed everything. He has made the poor, hungry, weeping, hated, excluded, insulted, rejected people blessed. And he’s done it by becoming poor, hungry, weeping, hated, excluded, insulted, and rejected.
            Our world is turned upside down.
            And it is on the journey through the shadows that he calls us to sing.  It is there that he becomes more than the One who provides, but the Bread itself; more than the One who frees, but Freedom itself. More than a way out of darkness, but the Light.
            Because blessedness isn’t a feeling, nor a synonym for happiness. It isn’t having our lives conform to what we’d like them to be. Instead, blessedness is being chosen for a journey through deep valleys and scratchy underbrush. It’s traveling with the One who changes everything, and walks beside us in the dark. It’s singing, knowing the reversals are coming, knowing our world is being turned upside down. It’s supposed to be that way. We’re on a journey to the mountaintop.
            The only question is ...
            Will we sing along the way?