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Author Topic: The perspective of home blessings  (Read 368 times) Average Rating: 0
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yeshuaisiam
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« on: January 15, 2012, 05:59:31 PM »

One other running thread reminded me that i wanted to ask a question or at least get some input about home blessings.

Having a lot of exposure to Anabaptist homes where "home blessings" are not in existence...  I am finding myself at odds with the practice of blessing a house. 

From the Anabaptist perspective, a home IS a blessing, a gift from God, to be used in all practical and necessary manners and never for vanity or brag.   

They say that their homes belong to God, and that they are blessed to be allowed to steward the house.   They take very good care of their homes.  All meals are eaten together as a family, prayers are sung together, and the kids play very well together.  In the Orthodox home blessings, the service talks about protecting the home from all evil spirits.... From being both in and out of Orthodoxy, I find myself in a very confused state on EO home blessings because I am witnessing people living THROUGH their Christian beliefs, and their homes do not seem ravaged by evil spirits, entities etc.  And since they understand that through creation their homes essentially ARE the property of God, there is no point to bless them.

If a family is full of dedicated Christians and the family considers the home to belong to God which they steward, where would a home blessing make any sense to somebody with this understanding?

God Bless.
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 06:09:57 PM »

You're confusing two different definitions of blessing, 1. blessing as a gift from god; 2. blessing as an act of calling God's favor upon something and consecrating it.

Do you pray before meals? That's a form of blessing #2. God already "blessed" us with the food but still we should pray before meals. It's the same with houses (or new undertakings, or marriages, etc.). Even if you don't think evil spirits are lurking in your home, you still want God's favor on your home and you want it to be a space particularly set apart for holiness.

On a side note, many Pennsylvania Dutch, who have Anabaptist background, will bless their houses in the form of framed cards containing prayers, hung somewhere in the house.
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yeshuaisiam
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 05:07:31 AM »

You're confusing two different definitions of blessing, 1. blessing as a gift from god; 2. blessing as an act of calling God's favor upon something and consecrating it.

Do you pray before meals? That's a form of blessing #2. God already "blessed" us with the food but still we should pray before meals. It's the same with houses (or new undertakings, or marriages, etc.). Even if you don't think evil spirits are lurking in your home, you still want God's favor on your home and you want it to be a space particularly set apart for holiness.

On a side note, many Pennsylvania Dutch, who have Anabaptist background, will bless their houses in the form of framed cards containing prayers, hung somewhere in the house.

I'm curious of your response.

(on the side note: The Mennonite and Amish that I know up in Lancaster county don't usually hang anything up except for a calendar.   No wall decorations... Even very plain colors - but anyway...)

With the two types of blessings you describe, I believe I'm having trouble with the logic with the two types of blessing more than the definitions.  Of course we all believe that God has given us blessings - ie - He has blessed us with a home.  Consecration (speaking in the EO definition of consecration as dedication of a church/home/building and NOT sacramental) I'm having trouble with understanding the logic behind it.   If God has given us a blessing, he created it and those who have built it....

I'm curious on the following questions.

1) Wouldn't God knowing all things understand that a home is dedicated to him by how the members of the home follow him?  Since he being the creator of everything has given a blessing to you, wouldn't the dedication (consecration) of this blessing be proven by the actions of the dwellers rather than the church coming in and "saying so"?

2) When it is prayed to remove evil spirits does it work?  Are the EO still tempted by the evil spirits after the abode is blessed and they are "taken away"?  If its speaking literally of "evil spirits" like "haunting", then do the EO believe that the promise given to man from the story of Job is not valid (where satan can't directly attack man)?  If it is not directly speaking of haunting, I'd ask if it was logical to pray to remove these evil spirits, when you know you'll just be tempted by them anyway in the abode.

Now I will say that despite the Anabaptist homes that I've seen, I've also seen MANY Eastern Orthodox homes (even more EO than Anabaptist) where the families and "dwellers" DO live up Christians lives.  Hope I didn't come off sounding that way in my OP.   But I do believe that the EO Christians that live this way, would live this way and dedicate their homes to God whether or not the home was actually blessed....

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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 11:30:46 AM »

Hello Yesh,
I would put it this way:

When God told the Hebrews to paint the blood on the lentils of the door, so the Angel would pass over them did God (and the Angel) know who were Hebrews? Of course he did.

Does God know our hearts, and what we want? Sure he does.

Do we have to pray to let God know whats up? Not at all. He knows.

He wants us to do these things because He wants us to participate in the relationship with Him. Just like the house blessings. The prayers, and hymns and all arent necessary, and of course the home is a blessing from God. However, He wants us to call on Him, and to ask his blessing, and guidance. Because He wants that relationship and wats us to turn to Him for such things.

Hope this helps m8 :0

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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 01:01:10 PM »

Hello Yesh,
I would put it this way:

When God told the Hebrews to paint the blood on the lentils of the door, so the Angel would pass over them did God (and the Angel) know who were Hebrews? Of course he did.

Does God know our hearts, and what we want? Sure he does.

Do we have to pray to let God know whats up? Not at all. He knows.

He wants us to do these things because He wants us to participate in the relationship with Him. Just like the house blessings. The prayers, and hymns and all arent necessary, and of course the home is a blessing from God. However, He wants us to call on Him, and to ask his blessing, and guidance. Because He wants that relationship and wats us to turn to Him for such things.

Hope this helps m8 :0

PP

Seconded. It's not about God - it's about us. I'm pretty sure God doesn't care whether or not we do any of this. It's for our benefit - to remind us and to help us live our lives in Him. When I was Protestant, I envied my Orthodox Jewish friends - every action, every moment of their lives involved blessings and prayer. I loved how every moment was lived in awareness of God and every action dedicated to Him, so that our lives became sacred. Little did I know that Orthodoxy does the same thing.
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 01:15:09 PM »

Hello Yesh,
I would put it this way:

When God told the Hebrews to paint the blood on the lentils of the door, so the Angel would pass over them did God (and the Angel) know who were Hebrews? Of course he did.

Does God know our hearts, and what we want? Sure he does.

Do we have to pray to let God know whats up? Not at all. He knows.

He wants us to do these things because He wants us to participate in the relationship with Him. Just like the house blessings. The prayers, and hymns and all arent necessary, and of course the home is a blessing from God. However, He wants us to call on Him, and to ask his blessing, and guidance. Because He wants that relationship and wats us to turn to Him for such things.

Hope this helps m8 :0

PP

Good way to put it. My home could use all the blessings it can get.  Smiley
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yeshuaisiam
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 02:46:19 PM »

Hello Yesh,
I would put it this way:

When God told the Hebrews to paint the blood on the lentils of the door, so the Angel would pass over them did God (and the Angel) know who were Hebrews? Of course he did.

I understand what you are saying, and I know God wants us to be a part with him...  I thank you for replying.

However, I don't think Angels know what God knows.  The Angel could have only been told to watch for the blood on the door posts. 

For me, this is confusing logically, but of course I don't condemn the practice or anything...
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