The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/13

Posted on | September 13, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/13

Scripture reading: Psalm 67:1–2

Be Blessed!

May the God of peace be with you all. Amen. (Romans 15:33)

 

To give a benediction is to literally “speak goodness”—to use words to place a blessing into someone’s life. The English word comes from the Latin root bene (good, well) and dicere (to speak, to pronounce). The Bible is full of such benedictions, typically promising God’s favor and the lavishing of his best gifts to hearers in the days ahead.

,. The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.    (Numbers 6:24–26)

,. Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.

(II Thessalonians 3:16)

,. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (II Corinthians 13:14)

,. May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (II Peter 1:2)

,. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Titus vv. 24–25)

As we face the realities and challenges that face us every week, how we need the assurance that God’s favor is upon us! Little wonder that many liturgical traditions make such words of blessing an integral part of every service of worship.

While reading Philip Yancey’s book Prayer, I discovered a different kind of benediction used in the Franciscan tradition of the Catholic Church. On first reading it sounded more like a curse than a blessing, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more wisdom I see contained in these ancient words. So, quiet your heart for a moment and pray this benediction over you. These words will strengthen and help you as you face the challenges of the day.

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim can- not be done to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor. Amen.

Be blessed!

Give as ‘twas given to you in your need, love as the Master loved you; be to the helpless a helper indeed, unto your mission be true . . . Make me a blessing to someone today.  —Ira Wilson

point to ponder Have you considered the blessings God has for you in adversity?

prayer focus Ask God to show you to whom you can be a blessing today.

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