Editor’s Note: Our overarching theme for devotions during the next five months of the liturgical calendar called Ordinary Time is Jesus is sending his Church. Using Michael Frost’s B.E.L.L.S. acronym as a framework, the topics will relate to missional living.
- As “sent” people, we are invited to…
- bless others generously, in word and deed (July),
- eat with others hospitably (August),
- listen to the Spirit while engaging with others (September),
- learn Jesus’ teachings as a disciple (October),
- and, sent people share the good news with others (November).
Numbers 6:23 – 26
Tell Aaron and his sons,
“This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
‘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.’”
The crowd lined the road to Jerusalem and shouted, “Peace in heaven” as Jesus rode the donkey colt down from the Mount of Olives. From Palm Sunday a seed was planted for a tradition. As Christians gathered to worship, the worship leader would begin with the blessing “The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you,” and everybody was invited to respond, “And also with you.” In this act of reciprocal blessing, the historic church was living, growing, and maturing into its role as a royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2:9)
When we picture the priests of the Old Testament, most of us probably have images of men in robes sacrificing animals and making offerings to God on behalf of the people. This was one of their roles but not their only one. Another significant role the priests performed is found at the end of Numbers 6. They were to offer a blessing over the nation of Israel.
With the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on believers young and old, women and men on that special Pentecost after Jesus’ ascension, we each participate within the ministry of all believers. With words of blessing, we can encourage, uplift, sustain, and comfort others. As a member of God’s royal priesthood, we are invited and gifted to bring glory to God through words of blessing to others. Begin small, begin big, begin with the phrase “The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” Begin by offering a prayer, begin with “God bless you,” but most importantly, begin. Bless someone today.
Loving Father, thank you for giving us the gift of blessing others. Give us the eyes to see and the courage to act on those opportunities where we can sustain the weary and encourage our brothers and sisters through the words of blessing. Amen.
By Alaric Kurzawa
Pastor of Seaford, Australia