Thursday, April 21, 2016

God bless you, Dave Ohlerking

One of my heroes of faith, ministry and life was a man I only met a few times.  His name was Dave Ohlerking.  Our paths crossed over 8 years ago when our church was in it’s infancy.  The organization Dave and his wife Jean led, Children’s Cup, helped to form how our family functions spiritually and how our church lives in community.

Though Dave passed away about 6 years ago his words and influence are felt in many, many places and in many, many lives.  I am grateful for how God used them in my life, family and work.

Yesterday my mind went back to Dave, and as I was reading I read a blog post that he wrote in September of 2009.  Few people have spoken to me as Dave did and continues to do.  I pray the following will give you much to think about:

The scene is in downtown Brussels, Belgium. The traffic is scary.

The other car shot our from a small alley into the side of my Volkswagen van. The police came and took statements from the other driver and me.

My French was never really great but I could read the report well enough to know that it asked if I had any blesse’, the French word for bloody injuries. Happily, nobody had been hurt.

That word blesse’ really intrigued me. It seemed so close to our English word bless. As I researched the derivations of bless, I got blessed. French and English come from Latin. Much of the time the Latin roots of a word are evident in each of the derivative languages. Just like blesse’ There is a relation between the French bloody injuries and the English blessing. Old English used the term bledsian to mean covered with blood. (Bludgeon comes from the same root.) Later English usage had the blessen mean sanctify.

I knew I had hold of something wonderful when I found this. To be sanctified or made holy or blessed meant to be covered by blood–bloodified, if you will. Blessen comes into our usage as bless.

To be blessed means to be covered by blood. Yes! Hallelujah! Calvary’s blood, the bleeding wounds of Jesus, is the source of all blessing in our lives.

When we say, “God bless you,” we are invoking the blood of Jesus on others’ lives. “Jesus cover them with your blood,” would mean the same thing. Now when I say, “God bless you,” it has a new connotation to me.

And I add the following verse as this piece comes to a close for the day:

God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.

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