Today’s scripture selection: Numbers 5-8
Key verses: Numbers 6:24-26
It’s funny the things that you remember; that stick in your mind as you grow older.
My father was a minister; a hospital chaplain for most of his career. I don’t remember when I first heard him say it; or how often – but it sticks in my mind. It’s “the blessing.”
It’s the traditional one found in the Old Testament; the one God said Aaron and his sons were to use when blessing the Israelites:
“The LORD bless thee and keep thee: the LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
I remember my Dad giving that blessing, at the end of many chapel services, as veterans – some young, some old – sat quietly with their heads bowed.
It still brings me comfort to hear or read, or now say, those words at the conclusion of a worship service.
Maybe it’s partially the nostalgic feelings about my own family memories. But I think it is also because it is such a simple and beautiful benediction.
It’s the idea of God’s face shining upon us and giving us peace – it just calms the soul. Though I can’t imagine what God’s face is like, or how I could possibly stand in His presence, I somehow take comfort in the idea that being there would bring not just “shock and awe” but peace as well.
The “blessing” – may it rest on all who need it…now and always.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for your blessing and your peace, which always calms me. AMEN.