Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Blessing

Every Sunday afternoon when I was in high school, I attended a Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) meeting at my church. I spent over 200 hours in those meetings, but the years have eroded much of what I remember about them―who taught, or what we studied. But what is not forgotten are the sweet young faces of those who attended and a particular prayer we always prayed at the end of our meetings.

“The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord makes his face to shine upon you,

And be gracious to you.

The Lord lift up his countenance upon you

And give you peace.

Amen.”

This is the Aaronic blessing―what God gave the priest, Aaron, to pray over the Israelites and is found in Numbers 6:22-27. I’ve reflected on the couple of hundred times my friends and I prayed that blessing over each other. I’m sure many times it was prayed in apathy, or distraction, or a “let’s just please be done” kind of attitude. 

Yet, my heart overflows in gratitude in how I believe God has honored those words in my life. God has kept me even through early years of rebellion. He has made His face to shine upon me not because of my works but because of what Jesus did on Calvary and because I am His. His grace toward me has been beyond imagining in restoring my life and giving me purpose. I love how Eugene Peterson translated that last sentence, “God look you full in the face and make you prosper.” God has given me a lasting peace, which transcends any earthly understanding.

As far as those lessons I don’t remember―when people tell Jerry they don’t remember what they read in the Bible, he tells them they don’t remember what they ate for breakfast on Tuesday a month ago either, but it still nurtured their bodies. The same is true with the lessons and scripture we hear and study. It still nurtures our souls whether or not we can always recall it. So a big thanks to those who took the time to lead and teach a bunch of teenagers back in the day. Your time was well spent and you blessed us all.

A few months ago while driving, a song playing on the radio brought tears. It was by Elevation Worship and titled simply, “The Blessing.” It was the prayer we prayed at MYF.

Also included in the song are other blessings from the Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 28:6 and Exodus 33:14 for example).

When the lyrics of the song sound from my car speakers now, I began praying those words over my children, my grandchildren, as well as other family members and friends. I’m calling out their names as I’m wheeling down the bypass. Praying blessing over those we love is a powerful thing.

Maybe you, too, prayed the Aaronic blessing many times back in the day. It might be for you, as it has been for me a time of giving thanks for how God has honored that prayer. And if that wasn’t your experience, pray it from now on. The blessing goes beyond us from generation to generation.

Today, I offer these words in prayer over you dear ones who are reading.

“The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord makes his face to shine upon you,

And be gracious to you.

The Lord lift up his countenance upon you

And give you peace.

Amen.”

I often sign my email "Blessings." Today, from the bottom of my heart I say, “Blessings friends, with love from Bev.”

“The Blessing” from Elevation Worship.


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