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So much blessing

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Luke 2:19,  Numbers 6:22-27
Luke 2:19
19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Numbers 6:22-27
24The Lord bless you and keep you;
25The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
26The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.


Today is the first day of the rest of my life. This is my 53rd New Yearís Day, my 53rd Rose Bowl parade, my 53rd opportunity to wake up thinking about beginnings Ö

Maryís mother heart was filled with the happenings of her babyís birth in Bethlehem. None of it happened the way she expected it. Bethlehem was crowded and cruel rather than the friendly home of Josephís ancestors she had envisioned. She never imagined baby Jesus in a stable lying in straw, or shepherds worshipping him, or angels singing in the sky.

What was coming next? Rather than try to guess any more, she became still, took what God gave her, treasured it. There wasnít much to say; instead she let the experiences tumble around inside her mind till they found their place, quiet, thoughtful, pondering.

Over and over she had heard the blessing. God gave it to Moses, who gave it to Aaron and his sons, the first priests of Israel. They repeated it through the years, passing it on to generation after generation. Mary was blessed. This time, rather than any human priest, it was Gabriel who spoke the blessing over her. She could hear it in her mind like he was right there with her once again.

I have heard those words too, those words of blessing, over and over. Fifty-three years I have heard them. Not from Gabriel. They came from Rev. Neitzel, from Pastor Clemetsen, from Pastor Hrbek, from one after another of the men and women who have prayed for me and ministered to me.

Iím so thankful for them. They have spoken Godís words of blessing over me time after time. Those experiences are treasures; and when I hear those words in my mind I feel still, I become thoughtful, Godís peace descends on me. For the moment, there is nothing more to be said.

The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you, the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.



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