Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Benediction

Numbers 6:25

…the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgSaying good-bye is not always an easy thing to do. Some of my clergy colleagues have had to say good-bye to their congregations as they prepare for new appointments beginning July 1. It is a tradition that United Methodist clergy face this time of the year. Thankfully I just began a new ministry in 2013 and will not have to face saying good-bye this year.

I met a friend in the grocery store this morning (picking up some Almond Milk and Greek Yogurt) that has a daughter moving out of the area soon. She talked about how hard it will be to have her so far away. We went through some of those feelings and still do with one of our daughters living in New Jersey. Thank God for FaceTime!

Another friend of mine had to deploy recently and leave his family stateside. I know the good-byes they shared were tear filled for sure. His daughters are getting older and he will miss so much as they go through this deployment.

Have you ever had to say good-bye to someone? In the church we say good-bye each week with the benediction at the end of each service. One of my father’s favorite songs was God Be With You, Til We Meet Again. We would sing it almost every time we left Sunday night worship. We never know whether we will all gather back the follow Sunday or not. We never know when one of us might pass during the week – but we do know that we will meet again – someday – at Jesus’ feet!

Today’s passage is a part of a benediction some use to end services. Here it is in partial context. It is from a section titled The Priestly Blessing in my Bible. Numbers 6:22–27 – 22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: 24 “ ‘ “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’ 27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Many pastors close their services with this blessing – The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. We call it a benediction – which means – the invocation of a blessing; especially:  the short blessing with which public worship is concluded.

My prayer this morning is that God would bless you and yours – that if we do not hear from each other tomorrow – because one of us has gone to be with God – that we will see each other again – at Jesus’ feet!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.


June 19, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , ,

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