“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.”
Today I’m reminded no matter where I go or what I do, I am nothing without the blessing of God upon my life. The Levitical Blessing from the book of Numbers reminds me of His mercy. Who am I that God would shine upon me and graciously give me His peace. But, that’s the beauty of God – He loves us, even when we don’t love Him back. He can do no other, because His essence is love. The Lord’s blessing flows out to us in waves of mercy, even though we don’t deserve it. As sinners saved by grace, it is only with God’s mercy upon us that we live and move and have our being in this world.
The traditional Hebrew blessing was prayed over the people at the end of their sacrifice at the Temple service. As the priests lifted their hands to the Heavens they held their fingers in sets of two, kind of like the “live long and prosper” V Mr. Spock made with his hand in Star Trek. The priests touched their thumbs together over their heads and the blessing of God was to shine down on the people through the gap between the priest’s fingers, and the people bowed their heads out of reverence so as not to look upon the mercy of God streaming down upon them.
When I serve at funeral services I like to use this blessing at the very end of the committal of the remains. Today I will pray that prayer in a few hours from now, for a friend who died at the age of 51. It is my prayer that God’s amazing grace will indeed flow out in waves of mercy upon you today also, and as I always add to the blessing prayer – in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Grace and Peace,
O God of grace and glory, shine down your mercy upon us today and every day. Forgive our sins and lead us in your way everlasting. Amen.
Image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan_salute