Some of you may or may not have grown up in the church throughout your life. Some of you may understand all that we do on a Sunday morning during gathered worship, some of you may not. I hope to explain to you what exactually we belive about the word Benediction and share with you a song that will hopefully serve us to serve others with the Good News.
Typically Pastor Paul Vroom will get up after our last set of songs and deliver what we call a Benediction (see below for a definition and explanation). He will often read from Numbers 6:24-26, Philippians 4:7, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, Hebrews 13:20-21.
However, this week we will be singing a new song that will help serve as a part of our Benediction/Blessing/Sending. We will be learning a song “As You Go” by Sovereign Grace Ministries. It is my hope that this song would become a regular and familiar song that is used to help send us out as refreshed and re-salinized Kingdom servants.
The chorus of this song is very simple,
May you go in the love of your Father God
May you go in the grace of Christ
May you go in the power of the Spirit now
To bring Him glory with your life
This is a blessing that we throughout Scripture, such as Philippians 4:7. Bob Kaufflin had this to say about the song,
“It captures the mindset we’re to have as we leave our gatherings, whether we sing it or simply hear it spoken to us. God calls us to go into the world to proclaim the gospel and minister his grace and truth to others, but our confidence isn’t in our ability to fulfill what we’ve been commissioned to do. We go assured of the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the power of the Spirit, all enabling us to fulfill God’s purposes in and through us.”
Please give a listen to this song a few times before Sunday, so that learning a new song together would not be as much of a distraction and disconnect for you. It is my prayer that this song would serve us well and send us out as servants in the Kingdom serving in light of His Gospel. See you Sunday at 9:30 AM at Camp Manitoqua!
Benediction: The greeting from God at the beginning of a service and God’s blessing at the end of the service frame the entire worship liturgy. Just as we begin with God’s gracious invitation, so we end with God’s promise to always be with us. In the benediction the dialogue of worship shifts from the people’s response to God’s parting words. The words of benediction (a Latin word meaning “to speak well” or “to speak a good word”) are intended to bring a blessing.
Of all of the actions that are part of the “sending,” the blessing, or benediction, is arguably the most important and the least understood. It is so important because it sends worshipers on their way with a parting word of God’s grace and blessing. This is much more fitting to the Christian gospel than ending either with a command, which can imply that the Christian life is only about working hard to earn God’s favor, or with merely a well-wish, which fails to convey the beauty and power of God’s promise to go with us. Yet the benediction is often misunderstood in these ways, such that it is turned into a command, a well-wish, or simply a farewell. The following resources provide many benedictions that appropriately convey God’s grace and blessing.
*Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. "Blessing/Benediction." The Worship Sourcebook. Grand Rapids: Faith Alive Christian Resources, Mi. 360-61. Print.
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