I was touched by a pastoral act I performed yesterday… giving and anointing those who came forward for a priestly blessing. The blessings I used were based on Numbers 6, one loosely based on Jeremiah 7, and others which were in liturgies or prayers that I have used before.
It was an honor to be asked to offer these personal blessings to members of the congregation. Many are dear friends. Many had their own burdens and heartbreaks that were unknown to me, but I could see in their eyes or on their faces that they wanted to hear and know the blessing of God in their lives.
Don’t we all want to know God will bless us? Don’t we all sense we need a touch of the Divine in our lives, each an every day? The problem is that our contemporary Christian culture equates blessings from God with material things. This is so far from the truth!
What greater blessing can I offer someone? The blessing that I offered affirmed God’s promises are true… now and always. I wanted them each to know how deeply they are loved by God, and how God cares for them providentially and personally.
In the act of offering this blessing, I was blessed. As I spoke words over others, I heard them for myself. And when tears rose in their eyes, they were in mine as well.
There are days that I wonder at God’s Call on my life. But today — today I have it strengthened deep in my heart.
Thanks be to God.
These are the blessings I used:
May your ears hear the uplifting and the encouraging.
May your hands help those in need.
May your heart be humble and receptive to the things of God.
May your mind be strong, disciplined, and balanced.
May the grace of the Lord, the spirit of God and the peace of Christ be with you always. Amen.
The Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord’s countenance lift you up and give you peace
In the name of our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer,
In the Name of Christ,
I bless you with the promises of God.
In the power of Holy Spirit,
may you be healthy and strong in body, mind and spirit.
May God’s angels be with you to protect and keep you always.
May God be your strength and your source of power
May you know God’s salvation
May God lead you, protect you and defend you
All of your days.
In the Name of our God, Amen.