Many years ago I was sitting with a group of preachers in a restaurant eating from a Chinese buffet. A man at a nearby table apparently had been listening in on our conversation. He walked over to our table and asked who we were. We told him that we were all preachers who had gathered to talk about new Church planting. He then raised his hands over us and said something that I had heard before but seemed to sound fresh. Right there in the restaurant he said a blessing over us.
Not immediately remembering the origin of his words I went home and searched the concordance on my computer. I quickly found his words in a book of the Bible that I was more accustomed to skipping over than reading. It was a quote from the book of Numbers.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
The Lord said to Moses, (23) “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
(24) “‘ “The Lord bless you and keep you;
(25) the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
(26) the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”‘
From that day forward I have tried to keep these words locked in my memory. Anytime I am unsure what to say to people I have this blessing hidden away. I have found it fits when praying for Christians, when speaking to a youth groups and even just in the quiet of my own mind. And today, my readers, I say this blessing over you.