Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Benediction

Read an article by Gordon McDonald about the benediction some time back that got me thinking. The last words that the minister says at a worship service. Normally “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, And the love of God our Father and the fellowship of the Holy spirit be with you now and always” The benediction is one of those things that we take for granted or ignore completely.

A number of times I have been to churches where there has been no benediction at all. And i have felt let down...as if worship was almost anti-climactic. I was waiting for it to end and the next thing it was over and I felt like someone had stolen the last sip of my coke!

I think part of the issue is that ministers have forgotten our priestly calling, and this is true not only for ministers but for all christians who are part of the priesthood of all believers. The benediction is not just a tradition of empty words that are nice to hear. I really do believe that these words are a blessing, a commisioning and an anointing of Gods people. They are words that prepare God’s people for battle in the world.

Paul always blessed the readers of his letters...perhaps we should take our benedictions a little (lot) more seriously than we often do. We do after all have the Spirit of the Living God in us and he uses people to bless others. Let’s use our last words carefully and be God’s
instruments of grace.

2 comments:

Ludwig said...

I almost always close services I lead with Jude 24/5...

Now unto Him who is able to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with great (I prefer 'exceeding' from the older versions) joy, to God our Saviour, who alone is wise (not in NIV), be glory, majesty, power and authority - before all ages, and now, and for ever more. Amen.

I like the way it holds out the carrot to the believer :-)

This version is cobbled together from KJV and NIV really...

Brent said...

Most Sundays we sing a version of that blessing, it is a great one and has long been a tradition on some of our churches.