The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’ Number 6.24-261
Many worship services are concluded with those words. This is the benediction that God instructed Moses and Aaron to leave with the people. You have heard these words before. Perhaps you have spoken them to/over a loved one.
A benediction is a blessing that one Christian leaves with someone else. You see, Christians are blessed by God, and are encouraged to be a blessing to others. One way that we can do this is by praying for others. It is important that we do not forget to lift up our friends, family members, co-workers and brothers and sister in Christ up in prayer. Another important aspect of our prayer for others is blessing them. That is, we are to declare the blessing of God on other people.
For some this is a difficult thing. Who am I, some think, to confer some special spiritual blessing on someone else? The Christian is supposed to be humble, after all. We should never be so audacious, we think, as to think of ourselves to be spiritually superior than others. However, when we are in Christ, we are empowered by him and filled with the Holy Spirit. We are given authority to act on behalf of Christ himself.
Here is the good part: When a Christian confers a blessing on another- whether they be Christian or not- God confers the blessing. It is a mystery of the Christian faith. It is a miracle of the work of God.
So when worship ends, and I raise my hands to the assembled congregation, and I look at those who are seeking the face of God, and I make eye contact with those in need, and begin to say those words, "May the Lord bless you..." I know that he does. He has blessed you. He has blessed me. He is blessing us.