Christianity 201

April 28, 2017

Benedictions and Blessings

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:37 pm
Tags: , , ,

This is a topic that came up in a discussion earlier in the week. At FaithAndWorship.com we read:

The tradition of a blessing or benediction as part of an act of worship has been a part of Jewish worship for generations, and we can trace it back to the book of Numbers where Aaron and his sons bless the Israelites with this blessing :

“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. ”
(Numbers 6:24-26)

Interestingly this is apparently the oldest known Biblical text that has been found; amulets with these verses written on them have been found in graves in dating from the First Temple Period, and are now in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

At Benediction.net we’re informed that

It is pronouncement of divine blessing given in the Bible. It represents a joyful, unifying call to faith, patience, and practice for the faithful, based on the Certainty, divine Principle, God.

A benediction is a short, concise statement given in the Bible in the form of a petition, an assurance, a promise or principle. It voices images of protection, or comfort, or abundance, or some other word of assurance.

The word benediction means to say good, to voice good thoughts, to pronounce. What makes good thoughts good is that they are based on Truth, based on Principle, God. Whatever is true fulfills itself. Good is the inevitable result of the certainty and righteousness of Truth, God, who is all good.

The reading aloud of a benediction at the conclusion of a church service is joy expressed, and cherished, and shared with the all in its hearing. It is a feast.

They also list a number of Biblical benedictions. In fairness, I’m not going to reproduce all of them, but here’s about half:

1. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. Psalms 121:7,8

2. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

3. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5,6

4. The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. Psalms 29:11

5. Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end he may stablish your heart unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.   I Thessalonians 3:11-13

6. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

7. God shall supply all you need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.   Philippians 4:19,20

8. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Philippians 4.23

9. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. II Peter 1:2,3

10. Blessed be the Lord for evermore. Amen and Amen. Psalms 89:52

11. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.   Jude 1:24,25

12. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20,21

Jumping back to our first source, Benedictions and Blessings offers some contemporary alternatives; again here are about half of them:

May God the Father
prepare your journey,
Jesus the Son
guide your footsteps,
The Spirit of Life
strengthen your body,
The Three in One
watch over you,
on every road
that you may follow.

May the peace of God enfold us,
The love of God uphold us,
The wisdom of God control us.

Let the majesty of the Father
be the light by which you walk,
the compassion of the Son
be the love by which you walk,
the presence of the Spirit
be the power by which you walk.
The love of God be the passion
in your heart.
The joy of God your strength
when times are hard .
The presence of God a peace
that overflows.
The Word of God the seed
that you might sow.

Perhaps the next time you feel an impulse to say, “God bless you” to someone, you might want to refine that, to speak into their lives particular things and particular areas where they might see that blessing take place. Think of it as praying over them, and make that prayer specific.

…Today’s devotional has ended. Go in peace!

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