I know not all of you are religious and feel free to skip over this, it’s not my goal to turn this into a religious debate. There are other places for that. But I did want to share a couple of things with you.
I believe some of you know, my dad was a minister in the Christian Reformed Denomination from the age of 24 up until 2 weeks before he died of complications from chemo on March 23, 2018 2 weeks shy of his 81st birthday… In the Reformed “school of thought” all worship services should end with the Benediction. That, as our current pastor says, is a gift from God, through the preacher to you.
My prayer this morning is that no matter our feelings towards God, the benediction will go with us (or come with us). I give you two benedictions this morning:
My Dad’s favorite way to pronounce the benediction:
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You - Out there
May the Lord Smile on You and be Gracious to You - Out there
May the Lord Show his Favor to You and Give You Peace - Out there
Go forth in the knowledge that God the Father Loves You - out there
Jesus Christ has redeemed you out there
and the Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you out there.
And now I offer you the AVM version of the benediction:
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You as you battle this “thing” - in here.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you so that even when the clouds overshadow you, even when the storms are raging, you know you are safe - in here.
May the Lord put many people on your path and give you the wisdom to see who needs your help and who can help you - starting right here on this website.
May Jesus Christ be a constant presence and support for you in times of trouble and times of doubt.
As you go into this coming week, go with confidence knowing that God has a plan for your life.
And may you remain faithful and continue to seek out his plan in spite of the trials and struggles you have, in spite of the limitations you deal with, in spite of the unknown and the fear of the unknown.
May everyone around us
see that we are more than this acronym that messes this physical body up
see that we are all probably messed up way more than you can actually see
see that we don’t have to look very far to find someone who has it worse than we do
see that no matter what our limitations, and no matter what our beliefs, we are here for a purpose.
May God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit be with you “in here” and “out there” no matter what it brings.