You will probably recognize the word “benediction” from the last of the spoken words in a worship service. The first part of the word, bene, means “good.” That’s why we see it with words such as beneficial, benevolence, and benefit. The second part of the word, diction, means “word.” The words dictionary and contradiction both involve words.
So, when we conclude the worship service, we send you off with a “good word.” Recently, I used a benediction from my collection of quotes and illustrations that resonated with some folks in worship that day. I don’t know where it comes from. I wish I could attribute it properly. It’s just printed on a piece of paper without any reference. After a number of people asked for a copy, I decided I would print it here. It goes like this:
As you go from this place, may God bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
May God give you the grace never to sell yourself short,
grace to risk something big for something good,
grace to know that the world is now too dangerous for
anything but truth,
and too small for anything but love.
So may God take your minds and think through them, may God
take your lips and speak through them,
and may God take your hearts and set them on fire.
In the name of our Creator, Redeemer, and sustainer. Amen.
If you’re having a tough day or if things are not going your way at this moment, maybe this “good word” will speak to you today. Maybe it is worthy of a place on the refrigerator as a daily reminder. We can all use a good word every now and then.
I hope you will check out this issue of the Oasis for news about our Lent offerings coming up. Ash Wednesday is a week from today. We will not have an Ash Wednesday worship service this year, but we will be offering the imposition of ashes both in the morning and in the evening. The sanctuary will be available on Ash Wednesday after 5pm for prayer and reflection. We also have an informational meeting this Sunday, after worship, in Fellowship Hall as a chance to learn about what will be happening at the Annual Meeting on February 25.
Together, we can bring Christ's word and work to the world.