“The Lord’s blessing makes a person rich, and no trouble is added to it.”
Proverbs 10:22 (Common English Bible)
Woven into our common speech today is the language of the church. Perhaps the most clear example – and most often used – is the greeting, “Merry Christmas!” These words roll freely off the lips of all sorts of people at Christmas; merchants at the close of a sale, service providers at the completion of some job, and strangers passing one another on the street. Even Santa Claus is heard using this expression of the Christian Church! The difficulty is that such phrases become depleted of their richness from the causal way in which they are spoken.
Another example is the expression, “The Lord bless you,” or more simply, “God bless.” This is freely used today, often with little understanding of what is precisely meant. Here is an expression that has passed through the doors of the church into the traffic of secular life. You hear it used tenderly, sincerely, with deep hopefulness or even as a parting word. One television comedian’s weekly sign off, “Good night and may God bless” became familiar to his viewers. The question remains for many, what is meant by these words?
Simply, these words, drawn from this passage in Proverbs, mean a benefit, a gift, or a happiness and completeness conferred on us by God. Whether he knew it or not, the comedian who signed-off his weekly variety show with, “God bless” was saying, “I hope God gives to you what is required today for your joy and happiness.” What a most pleasant thing to say to another!
Naturally, this is far more rich than saying, “Good luck”. The words, “God bless” sparkle with a depth and power and meaning that wishing someone, “Good luck” can never accomplish. Perhaps this is because nothing is being left to chance. The phrase, “God bless” preserves God. God is in the words. Though this phrase may have fallen into casual use, the aroma of the faith remains. Next time you use the words, “God bless” understand that what you have done is placed that person into the hands – and heart – of God where untold riches are found and there is no trouble.