Bless You


May 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. You might recognize this as the Numbers 6 blessing, and we might do well to encourage each other this way today!

22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

24 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
Numbers 6:22-27

This is the priestly blessing God gave to Aaron and his sons for blessing the Israelites.  In the speaking of this blessing over them, God put his name on Israel.  What a blessing.  What a blessing to have God put his name on you.  These are the children of God – the apple of his eye – they belong to God.

We, too, belong to God as the children who bear his name because of our faith in Jesus.  We are a royal priesthood and a holy nation under our Father in heaven (1Peter 2:9).  This blessing of God, spoken by the priests of Israel to their brothers and sisters, can also be spoken by us to our brothers and sisters today.

Surely we desire for God to keep us.  His Spirit is a deposit within us of this commitment God makes to keep his children until heaven.  Jesus promises in John 6 not to lose even one of us.  To bless each other with God’s keeping is to affirm the promise of God toward eternity.

God’s face shining and turning toward us is the desire of every child’s heart as they long for the love and approval of their parents.  The only reason we would not want the face of God turned our way is if we were turned away from God ourselves, in which case our sin would be exposed before him.  May God’s face turned toward us be a shining light into our lives to bring our deeds back into his light.

And as God shines his face on us, we will experience both the grace and the peace of God.  His grace we do not deserve, as we have all turned away of our own wills.  Our gracious God, however, has provided his Son, Jesus, as the sacrifice for that sin.  Jesus, we read in Ephesians 2, has become our peace.  He is our shalom.  In Jesus, God has brought down the dividing wall between us and God and between each other in the world.

As we experience the grace and peace of God, we will be able to live fully in peace with our neighbours.  With Jesus as the source of our peace, there is no longer any grounds for conflict between me and my brother or sister.

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.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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