Comfort

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God.    Isaiah 40:1

Familiarity breeds contempt, while rarity wins admiration.    Apuleius Roman philosopher, rhetorician, & satirist (124 AD – 170 AD)

Stress - business woman running lateSome things are heard so often we don’t truly hear them any longer. We just rush through them without thought.  When it comes to Bible passages and what we say in church on Sunday mornings, I think this is too much the case.

Jesus-Good-Shepherd-12As a former actor, I was trained to be able to say something as if it were being said for the first time. That can be a challenge when confronted with something like the 23rd Psalm; “The Lord is my Shepherd…”  And it is such a thing of beauty!

One passage that ends most church services is from Numbers 6:24-26. It is the Benediction, which we hear most Sundays, and which is rattled off far too quickly.  Speed kills (meaning).  Allow me to type it here as if scripting it, not literally as punctuated and written in the Bible.  Think of someone saying this for the first time as they leave a friend’s house, not to return soon.  The speaker is thinking about what he or she is going to say next, making it up as they go along.

 

The Lord bless you!

(Pauses thoughtfully)

…and keep you.

(Cups her host’s face in one hand)

The Lord make His face…shine upon you.  And be gracious to you.

(Both hands on the host’s face now, looking deeply into the eyes)

The Lord lift up His Countenance upon you. And give you peace.

(Kisses the hosts forehead and exits)

 

HUGGING-FRIEND-570How would you feel if a dear friend said that to you in that way as they leave, not knowing when you’d see each other again? Warm?  Bittersweet? Comforted by such kind words?

There is much comfort to be had in the Bible with passages like this, the 23rd Psalm, and more.  Sit some place in the quiet with time on your hands and slowly read the Psalms.  Read the whole Bible.  There is much to learn in there, not the least of which is how much God loves you, everything He sacrificed for you, and how He wants to spend all of eternity.  With you!

quote-if-you-surrender-yourself-and-do-not-rush-but-meditate-on-the-word-of-god-you-will-find-john-r-rice-111-56-66

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