26 February 2007

Benediction

The Benediciton -- read it again, for the first time.

I would venture to say that that most of us who were raised in the church are probably oblivious to the benediction. You know, the phrase the pastor spouted at the end of every service while holding his hand high "over" the congregation.

But check it out...it's just so beautiful.

May The Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
[Numbers 6:22-27]

It makes me ponder the disadvantages of routine practices during our corporate worship times.

But I guess the true test is for the one who appreciates the beauty of this time and time again.

To get to that place...

That's where I desire to dwell.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks.

First thought, I never know that was from the Bible, it truly is beautiful.

Second thought, our pastor stopped saying it when our service turned more contemporary.

Third thought, I recently have been drawn to the Old Testament.

Last thought, I like lots of the old ways but always try to adapt to the new, as I don’t care to live in a prepackaged box.

jean said...

Troy,the Spirit flows from you and He does shine upon you!
You are a blessing!

troy. said...

Anonymous:
I'm glad you raised the point about the contemporary switch. I originally had a line in the post about it, but didn't feel it fit. This loss of tradition is such a tragedy in the greater American church.

In a misplaced effort to regain its relevance, the church gave up on its deeply rooted and rich traditions about the same time it gave up on hymns. We didn't actually need to eliminate any of this, we just needed to walk His sheep through the beauty and mystery of it. But that takes work. A lot of work.

I honestly believe, at some level and to some extent, the Lord has placed me in the church and given me a bit of influence over our times of worship in order to assist our pastors and worship leaders in doing some of this work.

We've been doing the "contemporary thing" for quite some time. Maybe tradition, steeped in meaning and understanding, is the new contemporary?

Will you pray that with me?

Miller said...

as you know much of the emergent conversation is about precisely this topic. there is a hunger for the old ways, a desire to revive traditions long forgotten.

i think this is one of the reasons the greek orthodox church has enjoyed something of a resurgence...

however, i want to pull us back further. all the way back to the first century when a certain brother wrote "offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind"

the traditions we observe on Sunday are of value if they help us do this...

otherwise???

peace

troy. said...

Exactly Miller -- thanks for the reminder on perspective. That's why the body (i.e. brothers and sisters in Christ) is so important in living out our faith. We just can't do it alone.

I guess my focus in all of this is to fill the body with inspiration that will move them to action. We can know all the scriptures in our heads, but if the gospel never makes it to our hearts, we have no motive or reason to act it out.

Miller said...

and thats one of the things i love about you bro...

you are all about inspiration!

i can see it in your art and the art you love, i can hear it in your music and in the tember of your voice.

most of all i can see it in your life...

you are acting faithfully and that is the most inspiring thing of all. your "spiritual act of worship" speaks louder than anything else to those who are paying attention.

peace

Anonymous said...

There is a mountain in Utah with a peak called “Inspiration Point”. I walked to the peak once and renamed it “Perspiration Point”. It took some inspiration to start the walk but lots of preparation to finish. I think living out my Christian faith to lost people takes little inspiration but lots of perspiration. What do you think?

troy. said...

Anonymous:
I agree that living out our faith takes perspiration. But I still hold that perspiration is much easier given (and more purely given) when we are first filled w/ inspiration. In other words, our actions can be done purely when we act feeling the love of Christ in our hearts. Otherwise, they are simply legalistic acts performed to obtain favor with God.

I think that the closer we draw to God and the more we understand His definition of love, the more natural our walk w/ "the lost" becomes. We still sweat profusely, we just don't notice it as much.

As to the peak in Utah -- what you describe is the process it took you to get there. BUT what was it like just standing there on top of that peak? I sincerely hope you failed to even notice the sweat and tired muscles due to the beauty and majesty of God that lay before your eyes!