Reading (Numbers 6:22-27)
The Priestly Blessing
The Lord said to Moses, “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.”’
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
Last Saturday Rob and I went for a short walk in the afternoon. We have not been as good as we could have been at going out for our daily exercise lately, we seem to have been too busy doing other things, or the weather has put us off. But last Saturday we decided that, whatever the weather, we were going to go out, even if it was only for a 10 minute walk. As it was the weather was not too bad; it was dry and the sun was out, however it was windy. As we walked out of the village and turned into Mill Lane we found ourselves walking full into the wind. It made walking much more difficult and, as well as the difficulty of walking into the wind, it caused my eyes to water and my nose began to run. It would have been very easy simply to turn around and go back home. But instead we pressed on with our heads down and walked up the lane. There wasn’t much of a view as the only thing that I could see as I walked up the lane was the tarmac on the road.
However, when we got to the top of the lane and finally did turn around, the experience was completely different; with the wind at our backs walking was easy. When the wind did blow it simply helped us along. What was lovely was that as we walked we could now look up and around us at what was going on. We watched as a buzzard was chased high up into the sky by a crow or rook, we noticed how lovely and blue the sky was and the beauty of the light as the sun shone low in the sky.
I was reminded of the Irish blessing:
May the roads rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, May the rains fall soft upon your fields And until we meet again May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
One of my favourite parts of our Sunday services comes at the end when the priest or leader of the service prays a blessing over the congregation. In the book of Numbers we find God telling Moses what the priests should say when they bless the people and it is a blessing that is still used today.
Sometimes we may feel that we lack the words we need in order to pray for those that we love. When we do, we can always use the words of one of the many blessings that have been written or we can simply ask for God to bless them and then leave the rest to him.
Lord, we ask you to bless all those that we love.