In the Old Testament book of Numbers, God gives specific instructions to the priests for how they were to bless God’s people. A New Testament way of saying that would be, how they were to “show God’s grace” to them.
This blessing may be familiar to you, as it’s one we often use in Worship during faith milestones in the life of the church such as Confirmation, or as a sendoff to Graduates.
It goes like this:
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace”
What a beautiful passage, it’s one I hold closely in my heart (and also where my email signature of “Grace & Peace” is pulled from).
Have you ever noticed that God’s face is mentioned TWICE in this blessing?
The Lord has turned his face toward me, and made his face shine upon me?
I admit that too often, I do not put myself in the Spiritual posture to receive this incredible outpouring of Grace that the Lord is so ready to shower his creation with. I shadow myself from the shine. I beat myself up with my inner monologue. I’m preoccupied with the details and check lists. I forget to look up to see the sky, trees, and birds as I trudge forward in worry.
Meanwhile, I imagine God trying to make “eye contact” with me through creation, healthy relationships, scripture, and more ways to remind me that I am kept, that his Grace is for the world and available to me. That in Christ we have peace.
When you consider God’s face turned toward you, what expression do you see? If it’s hard to imagine God’s face shining on you, what do you suppose could be the reason?
God sees us and loves us, and desires that our faces would look back at him.