My grandmother had a ritual for us kids every night, when she was with us. Before we all went to bed, She would hug each of us, make a cross on our foreheads, and say “Good night, God Bless” with a kiss, and a small pat on our heads, or shoulder, depending on where her hand landed. It wasn’t formal or anything–it was just the last thing she did before we went to bed. She blessed us.
All over the world, families have been blessing their children for a long time. Jesus’ own ministry was rooted in a culture that blessed children regularly. Judaism continues that custom today! Spanish parents and grandparents also bless their children, in a ritual they call “bendición.” It’s a hands-on ritual. When you want to bless someone, you touch them. It’s Biblical.
All the healing, restoring, blessing power of heaven flows through us when we reach out in blessing to each other. Which is probably why darkness has been intent on subverting and corrupting that act from the beginning of time. But Jesus made the act of touching a central part of His ministry. He told His disciples that He had authority over all things, then instructed them to use His authority to actively touch, heal, restore, deliver, reconcile, and forgive, and teach everyone else who would call themselves disciples to do the same.
Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you . . . cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ Luke 10:8-9
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:9,17-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:18-20
So get with the Program, Disciples!