My First Benediction
As part of our Men’s group each week, someone volunteers to do the benediction for the following week. This is more than a formality, it is an exercise in studying scripture.
1 : the invocation of a blessing; especially : the short blessing with which public worship is concluded
2 : something that promotes goodness or well-being
The most common benediction is from Numbers 6:23-26
23″Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
24The LORD bless you and keep you;
25the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26the LORD lift up his countenance[a] upon you and give you peace.
Bible Gateway has this commentery:
The priests were solemnly to bless the people in the name of the Lord. To be under the almighty protection of God our Saviour; to enjoy his favour as the smile of a loving Father, or as the cheering beams of the sun; while he mercifully forgives our sins, supplies our wants, consoles the heart, and prepares us by his grace for eternal glory; these things form the substance of this blessing, and the sum total of all blessings. In so rich a list of mercies worldly joys are not worthy to be mentioned. Here is a form of prayer. The name Jehovah is three times repeated. The Jews think there is some mystery; and we know what it is, the New Testament having explained it. There we are directed to expect the blessing from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, 2Co 13:14; each of which Persons is Jehovah, and yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.
But there is also the widely used New Testament blessing “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” found in 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2 and Colossians 1.
Colossians 1 is an excelent example of a Christian benadiction. Here, Paul salutes the Colossians, and blesses God for their faith, love, and hope.
All true Christians are brethren one to another. Faithfulness runs through every character and relation of the Christian life. Faith, hope, and love, are the three principal graces in the Christian life, and proper matter for prayer and thanksgiving. The more we fix our hopes on the reward in the other world, the more free shall we be in doing good with our earthly treasure. It was treasured up for them, no enemy could deprive them of it. The gospel is the word of truth, and we may safely venture our souls upon it. And all who hear the word of the gospel, ought to bring forth the fruit of the gospel, obey it, and have their principles and lives formed according to it. Worldly love arises, either from views of interest or from likeness in manners; carnal love, from the appetite for pleasure. To these, something corrupt, selfish, and base always cleaves. But Christian love arises from the Holy Spirit, and is full of holiness.
9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12giving thanks[d] to the Father, who has qualified you[e] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
So it is in this vein that we are chalenged to prepare a benadiction each week. To bless each other at the conclusion of our fellowship and worship. But how do you create a benadiction? The best way is to turn to scripture. Since all scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the verbally inspired word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21; Matt 5:18; John 16:12,13), they are the best source for giving blessings. It keeps us from seeking worldly pleasures and glorifying man and it inspires us to put our trust in God, where it belongs.
So, without further ado, I give you my first benadiction:
May you be His witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth – always ready to give a defense to everyone for the hope that is in you with gentleness and reverence for the Lord.
(Acts 1:8 and 1Peter 3:15)