In the Old Testament book of Numbers, the LORD gave words to Moses to pass on to Aaron and his sons that we now know as the “Priestly Blessing” (Number 6:24-26). Aaron’s sons were instructed to use these words to bless the people of Israel so that they would be “named” as God’s people.
Named as God’s people . . . that is a remarkable and undeserved blessing; one that stretches through time to name and call us even today.
Steve Bell tells the story of an unexpected blessing when he sat down with his father and explained that he had decided to pursue a musical career, one that would necessitate being on the road and performing in often sketchy locations for weeks at a time. Steve recounts how his father looked him in the eyes and responded by saying “if that’s your choice, then you need this blessing more than ever.” And he proceeded to speak words of affirmation, belonging, and protection over his son.
The blessing is God’s prerogative. He gives it freely and eternally. He knows we need to hear it regularly, just as the early Israelites did. Wherever we go and whatever we do, the blessing is God’s naming us as his own.
Remind yourself of the blessing.
But more than that . . . accept the priestly mantle that Christ has placed on you and share the blessing with others.
Rabbi Jack Zimmerman
John Rutter, Cambridge Singers
(the song Steve wrote following his dad’s blessing)