Blessing

June 5, 2012

Excerpt from Numbers 6:24–27

"The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace."

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson

Watching the children come forward for the children's moment during worship recently, I pondered, what is really going on here? Do the children come to be entertained or to be entertaining? Do they come for an object lesson related to today's Bible passage? Do they come because we get a kick out of seeing the pastor put on the spot by a five-year-old?

It occurred to me that the reason they come, and the reason we send them, is for a blessing.

We know that life is not only good, it is hard. We know that life is full of uncertainty and peril. Given that, we want our children to be blessed. We know that a blessing won't save them from all suffering or danger, but it may save them in suffering and danger. We want them to know—despite peril and suffering—that they are precious to God, held in God's love and knowledge—always. We want them to be blessed.

But it's not only our children who that need a blessing, is it? We too need, and long for, a blessing.

As a pastor my own favorite moment in worship was when I blessed the congregation, which I did at the end, eyes open, arms raised, from the front. Now that I am not serving a congregation of my own, what I miss most is giving the blessing.

Looking out upon the congregation, knowing something of the perils and challenges they face each week, I want them to know that they belong to God, that they are precious to God, and that nothing can separate them from God's love. I want them to be blessed. And so I bless them, giving thanks to God for the privilege and responsibility of blessing others.

Prayer

As I begin this new day, let your blessing rest upon me, Holy One. You have blessed me that I may be a blessing to others. May it be so. Amen.

About the Author
Anthony B. Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher and writer. His newest book is Called to Lead: Paul's Letters to Timothy for a New Day, and he is also the author of the just-published Book of Exodus: A God is still speaking Bible Study. Read his weekly reflections on the current lectionary texts at www.anthonybrobinson.com by clicking on Weekly Reading.

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