Christmas Benediction and Blessing
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, (Numbers 6:22-23)
One of my favorite parts of the worship service comes at the very end when the pastor gives the benediction. When the people of God are blessed using the words or thoughts of God recorded in the Scriptures to bless us before we go on our way. Over the years I’ve heard many. I have my favorites. There is one my husband says frequently that I can almost feel God smiling upon me, feeling the warmth of heaven, as though he is taking a giant paintbrush and blessing me from head to toe. Giving me one last hug before sending me out into the cold, cruel, loveless world.
It’s like when our grandkids give us that last big hug—even though they’ve hugged us a thousand times already—as we or they leave out the door. It’s the last thing I feel before departing and I carry their hug with me even as we or they drive down the street.
God wants to hug you at Christmas. He hugs you every day; he wants you to pay attention and feel him hugging you. He wants you to feel his love and the warmth of his embrace. Do you need that kind of blessing in your life today? Do you need a hug from God today? Would you welcome the face of God turning toward you, smiling upon you, transferring his peace to you? Painting you from head to toe with his beautiful countenance? How would your day turn around? Your life change? Your attitude or countenance be transformed?
Christmas is an especially wonderful time to pause and soak up the benediction God has sent to love starved people, through his Son Jesus. Jesus is the benediction of God traveling with us on this journey. God’s face smiling upon you, his countenance filling you, his graciousness covering and protecting you.
Father, thank you for the benediction you send through your poetic promises and through our beautiful Savior, Jesus. Amen
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:24-27)