Life through the eyes of blessing

14/01/13 | Posted by Ian Black

This is a fun story. The Queen's car wouldn't start. Instead of calling the AA or RAC a bishop who happened to be standing next to her at the time decided to give the car a blessing - for a joke. To the delight of the crowd it sprung to life and purred into action. I have no doubt he would not claim any credit for this and wouldn't argue that this proves prayer works, though, as the nation was hit by snow today, many prayers and a few curses will have been invoked over cars that wouldn't start!

 Queen’s Car

A bit of fun but it set me wondering what else might a blessing get moving?  Mid-winter blues are lessened when we see that our life is based on blessing.  God blesses us with life.  There are disputes which seem intractable at the moment: women bishops in the Church of England, gay marriages, Northern Ireland flags, the Israeli-Palestine conflict.  These disputes are based on very different visions of how the world both is and should be.  So much so that it seems impossible to square the circles.  The disputes go round and round and round and round…  How different would these look, I wonder, if viewed through the eyes of blessing? 

It’s easy to be simplistic about this, and therefore dismiss it as naive wishful thinking with hopes set to be dashed against the rocks of very stormy seas.  But those stormy seas take us to the Jesus who in the gospels calms stormy seas through speaking peace (Mark 4:35-41).  Jesus is God’s blessing to us and for us.  He brings life and that life enlightens darkness.  The darkness does not and cannot overcome it.  That is a very powerful and bold claim made by the writer of John’s gospel (1:1-14).

If we try to look at these problems through how together we are blessed in God’s image, how might that become a door to being transformed in his grace?  And transformation is what Christians should be praying for, not mutation where old hatreds replicate themselves and go septic.  Blessing assumes that resolution in a dispute is not only possible but our aim.  It also requires us to change, because blessing does change us.  It expands the horizons of our imagination so that what looks closed can open, what looks dead can live and what shakes us to queasiness can be calmed.  Blessing brings life, the opposite of death and destruction.  May be a bishop’s joke could help us look through the eyes of blessing and get far more moving than just a car. 

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You did indeed surprise me this night… 3 I mean thank you for listening… I STILL WILL GLADLY GIVE MY LIFE FOR THEIRS… It is my duty… to save… not to perish…

#1. By Adrian on February 15, 2013

The apparent ‘healing’ of a car by prayer could be far more significant than only a Fun Story.
It affected me!
Read my testimony at

God bless.

#2. By David on March 30, 2013




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