I once attended a church that would end every service with a benediction (rather than a closing prayer). The benediction would be a verse or two that was a prayer or blessing for the week. It was always very personal even in a crowd. Many times, the benediction was my favorite part of the service. I loved receiving the special blessing each Sunday, the Pastor would even start by saying, “Now, receive the blessing of God….”
What is a benediction?
Translated from the original Latin it means “good word or good saying.” It’s a short blessing at the end of a religious service. It’s usually a reading from scripture. These verses are meant to convey a blessing to the audience. In the Bible, we find many different verses that share a short blessing like Numbers 6:24-26, Romans 16:25-27, and Zephaniah 3:17.
As you read the New Testament, you find that writers often open their letters with a blessing and close them with a similar blessing or benediction. Paul has many famous verses you have probably heard that are a closing blessing. Paul’s blessing of grace and love in II Corinthians 13:14 is one example.
Today’s verse could also be considered an opening blessing or used for a closing benediction.
May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.Jude 1:2
Jude starts this very short letter with a blessing and praying that mercy, peace and love would be multiplied in your life. The beauty of these types of verses is that they are offer the same blessing today as they did thousands of years ago when they were written.
Stating a blessing to friends and family when we greet or part seems to be lost in history. Today, we say hello or goodbye. Think of how we could bless others by sharing a few verses like this each time we greet or part or when we prayed publicly. Just a thought….
As a close today, I pray Jude’s blessing for you, “May mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you”.