Thursday, January 10, 2013

#1 Gratitude 2013 ~ A Father's New Year Blessing

It's New Year's Day, and for my entire life, it's been our family's tradition to ask my father for his "New Year Blessing"
     For many years before our move east, my husband, myself and all our children, used to kneel before my father and obtain his blessing in this very special way. I miss that. I miss it because like my other siblings, we all live quite a distance away from my parents now, so this same New Year blessing now comes via the telephone. It's an okay substitute, sort of, at least being able to hear my father's voice, listen to his personalized blessing on me and my family, and still, I can kneel while obtaining it, just not in person. 

     And so, the beginning of a New Year is always special in our home, beginning with going to church to offer up our year, and then obtaining this very special fatherly blessing. 

     There was one downer this year though, we had a snow storm and we were unable to get out of our driveway, and over to our church. Ugh, I hate it when that happens to us, pretty or not, but that's life in a snow belt area. I'm sure we received grace for our good and pure intentions of getting there in the first place. 

Gratitude #1  for 2013 

.... is most definitely hearing my father pray over me, offering his new year blessing especially for me/us,  feeling his heartfelt emotion and the tender tone in his voice throughout. 

Love you dad! xox

Below is an original article my father wrote for our family newsletter, the one our family used to spearhead and publish bimonthly for about four years. He wrote about how this family generational tradition began, and how it continues today. 

Perhaps after reading this, your family might want to adopt such a perfect beginning to your own family's new year too. 


The Gift of a Father's New Year Blessing 

"When I was young, Father Meunier, our parish priest spoke one New Year's Day about the privilege of children obtaining their father's blessing for the forthcoming year. He explained how this was not just a new modern day phenomenon, it was actually centuries old, dating back to Abraham.

So this New Year's day after that particular sermon, my mother rounded up us four boys and said; "Go ask your father for a blessing. Kneel down in front of him, and God will support that blessing."

It became a tradition for me, and every New Year's Day, I went to visit my father and mother to wish them a Happy New Year, embrace them, kiss them, and kneel for my father's blessing on me and my family.

From earliest times, God's covenant of blessing was originally made with and was to pass directly through one family's offspring. Abraham's descendants received the blessing God had promised them (Gen. 12: 2-3). This was through generation after generation right up until the birth of the Messiah (Matt. 1: 2-16). In contrast, family members can experience a blessing through God's Son. This blessing can then be passed on to others by introducing them to Christ. To this day, Jewish families share the blessing every time they gather together.

Another spiritual meaning associated with the blessing is how another set of brothers, Ephraim and Mannesseh, God's sovereignty was picture in who first received their family's blessing and who did not (Gen. 48: 1-20, Romans 9:10-13)

Genuine acceptance radiates from the concept of the blessing, both for the asking by the children, and the giving by the father. It gives sons and daughters a tremendous sense of being highly valued by their parents and even pictures a special future for encouragement, love and acceptance. It can play an important part in protecting and even freeing them to develop intimate relationships.

As a father, I've always felt privileged to be asked by my children for a New Year's blessing. Because of distance with some of our children, they ask for their blessing by phone.
Now that my father has passed away, I miss his annual blessing. However, I can help think of him each time I am asked by my children for their blessing, and I'm sure God sends it through my father's and through me to them. In that way, I still obtain my father's blessing also."

© 10/01/2013 ~ PJF
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