The Benediction

The late The late Richard Halverson was Chaplain of the United States Senate from 1981 through 1994.  Prior to that he had served as a pastor for many years.

A friend once asked him, “Dick, what was the most significant thing you did that brought vitality and spiritual strength to the people you served?”

Halverson thought for a while.  Then he said quietly, “I think it was my benediction.”

Excuse me?

Why would Halverson not mention his sermons, the 14 books he authored, his counseling, or his profound influence on a whole generation of America’s leaders?

The benediction – some traditions call it the charge or the blessing – is the last word that is spoken by the priest, liturgist, or pastor at a worship service.  Quite often (I speak from personal experience), the benediction is little more than a warm version of “May God bless you this week.”

Not many worship leaders invest much time and thought in the presentation of a benediction.

But Dick Halverson was different.  Over the course of several decades of ministry, he always sent worshippers on their way with these words:

You go nowhere by accident.
Wherever you go, God is sending you.
He has a purpose in your being there.
Christ who indwells you has something he wants to do through you wherever you are.
Believe this.
And go in his grace and love and power.

May this benediction (literally, “good word”) be God’s good word to you this day, and every day to come.

— Authored by Glenn McDonald


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