My parents came to the United States from Korea with almost no material possessions. The Korean War ravaged the land and those who resided in it. Opportunities were scarce. At the same time, the needs were abundant as one people were torn into two nations through war. It wasn’t hard to adopt a vision of the “good life” often touted in the US, one of material wealth and social status. In fact, the idea of blessing in the US seemed to be about material prosperity—a spacious house in the suburbs, a secure nest egg, and a little extra to give to charity—from Christians and non-Christians alike.
Rarely did blessing seem to have its eyes set on eternity. Christians know that we are “like a vapor” (James 4:14), and the treasures on earth do not last, as “moth and rust destroy and…thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19–20). However, it seems almost impossible to escape the pattern of possessing fleeting things in a manner that ends up possessing us. The way to break the pattern of being possessed by our possessions is to understand what blessedness actually is and where it actually comes from.
We must understand that a truly good life is only found in God. All other things will ultimately fail. And where the good things of this world are to be enjoyed, we are not to be mastered by them. In Galatians 3:9, we are reminded that “those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith.” This means that the people of faith are the children of Abraham and share in his blessings. To be blessed is to share in the blessings that were promised to and poured upon Abraham—through and with whom the nations would be blessed by a blessing that would endure into eternity and not be destroyed by moth and rust.
This blessing fortifies our anticipation for an eternal future by grounding us in a long legacy of grace-filled faithfulness by God throughout history. This is what we enter into when we celebrate Advent. We anticipate a glorious eternal future grounded in the activities of God throughout historical events in the past. As we recalibrate our understanding of blessedness and see that true blessedness comes from God Himself, we can live unto an eternity we long for, knowing that it has already come in Christ.