I finally made a connection the other day, or perhaps God gave me a revelation. Either way it’s one which gives me great comfort, so I want to share it.
At evening meals, as part of saying grace, my father always plead the blood of Jesus over each of us in the family. Since he did it so regularly for my whole childhood, since before I could remember- I really took it for granted.
As an adult now, I reflected back on it and it was a wonderful, powerful blessing. But it wasn’t exactly typical Lutheran language. Most Lutherans I know pray “Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, let these gifts to us be blessed.” Around my wife’s hometown we add “oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good and his mercy endures forever.”
Out in California they might insert a brief, impromptu, informal prayer specific to the group or event before the standard “come Lord Jesus…” But this pleading the blood- with the objectivity of time and distance, this has a distinctly Southern/Pentecostal flavor to it. But my dad was a reserved Michigander of lapsed Presbyterian/Methodist origins. It may have come from my parents studying the Holy Spirit in Bible studies in the late 60’e & early 70’s Even Lutherans were effected by the so called Charismatic movement.
Thank you for your patience in reading so far, let me finally get to my point.
For decades I just figured, “well, isn’t that nice? I certainly appreciate God’s continued blessing.” I figured “pleading” was like pouring, Christ’s blood in a metaphoric sense like the sacraments of baptism or communion. I was appreciative, but still really missing the point. It sometimes even struck me as something priests did in horror movies, after all it was an important aspect in spiritual warfare prayers, effective protection against Satan and demons.
By the way, I do believe that, even if I also think that spiritual warfare is more complicated and nuanced than some people and most importantly, that Christ already won the victory on the cross. It seems like many Christians thrive on fear, anger and a need for control so they emphasize the warfare rather than the spiritual. We can stand firm and calm in faith, trusting that it’s not by might, not by power, but by God’s Spirit (Zech 4:6).
Sorry, I digress. Here’s the point- Jesus is our pascal lamb that takes away our sins (John 1:29). Having His blood plead over someone, or over your whole family, is equivalent to the Hebrews having the blood of the Passover lamb painted over their doorway (Exodus 12). So yes, incredible spiritual protection.
So (thought I didn’t realize it at the time) Dad was blessing us in a tremendous way every day just like Mom did when she prayed the Aaronic blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 over us when she tucked us into bed at night.