The adjective “blessed” has a trillion parts to its definition, as most English words these days. I gravitate to the familiar synonyms, phrases like: sacred, holy, worthy of adoration or worship. I’m looking through the lens of a worldview that trusts that God Almighty gives and takes away. So He’s the dude doing the blessing. Thus, my innards get slipknotted when folks are blessing and gettin’ blessed outside of the sacred. How dare they? It’s true, though, there’s some skewing of perspective in my preunderstood approach.
So it goes, the etymological history of ‘blessed’ tells are pretty tight-knit story. It originally comes from an Old English verb which means, to bless, wish happiness, consecrate. The Germanic equivalent connotes a consecration with blood, like a Catholic-style sprinkling, I imagine. The Anglo-Saxons used the word [and consequently the process] in pagan services, worshipping false gods and forces, and “blessing” the folk with symbolic things like animal blood. Here’s the switch: when those very people, the old school pagan worshippers, converted to Christianity, the word “blessed” became somewhat syncretistic, acquiring slightly new meanings as the translations of the Latin Bible began to have an influence.
Brilliant! [light bulb turns on] So connotation for ‘blessed’ tends to be Biblical, not because it began that way and was defined as such, but because it was a tag-along into new ventures after already having held meaning. So when we’re blessed by the sovereignty of God in various ways, it’s legit. We’re not sprinkled with anything, but the positively connotated term is true. Our situation has become more holy and happy because of an outside force. But my investigation has broadened the boundaries. Because, I guess, since ‘blessed’ came from pagan roots, pagans can be blessed just as well. A blessing doesn’t necessitate the inclusion of God, even though every time I use it, it will include such an assumption. To be blessed separate from the power of God just refers to the way something is favored or fortunate, brought increased happiness or content. Something that urges thankfulness.
Still seems odd to me to be thankful to nothing. Can thankfulness have no direct object? I suppose it can, but I’ll assure that mine never will. My thankfulness will always have direction. My blessings will come from somewhere.