Sunday, February 13, 2022

The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Keep: We have so many ways of blessing one another. For centuries (millennia?) we have been using the words from Numbers 6:24 which says:

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

I’m sure that just seeing the first line, you can almost recite the rest of it. Maybe you can even sing it, our choir has a few tender melodies that accompany the text.

The Hebrew word for keep used in this blessing sticks out to me. It is an expansive term thick with meaning. Held within those four letters is God watching, having care over, preserving, guarding, overseeing, supporting, and protecting. It is not a greedy, suffocating, smothering kind of protection. Our God is a God of freedom and liberation, and so God’s watch over us is equally rooted in emancipation. In this way may the Lord bless you and keep you today.

Praying the Alphabet
O God,
we kneel in prayer saying
thy kingdom come
knowing that you kindle
an echo of your kingdom
here and now
even as we wait.
For we are fed at your kitchen table
every meal a key to knowing you.
As we seek to know you more deeply
we are fully known, knit together
in your kind keeping.
Bless us and keep us, O God.
Amen.