The Blessing

The Blessing

Today’s Scripture Selection: Numbers 6:22-27

The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

‘“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.” ’“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Along with all the instructions and regulations about holiness and temple practices, there is a blessing in the book of Numbers which I have always liked.  Maybe one reason is because I can remember my father, who was a hospital chaplain, using it often to conclude his chapel services.

It is also memorable because of its lovely wording.

The King James Version puts it this way,

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,

and be gracious to you.

May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,

and give you peace.

So simple and to the point, it describes the very essence of God’s blessing upon us:

  • Making his face to shine upon us
  • Being gracious toward us
  • Lifting up his countenance upon us
  • Giving us his peace

With such a blessing, we can face and endure much.

This ancient blessing also gives us a good model to follow.

As people of God, we can look upon others in kindness, offer a bit of grace, look kindly upon them, and gift a gift of peace.  It is so much more than an official priestly or ministerial benediction.

It’s the way to live, in Christ’s name.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s