God Be with You
It happened like clockwork. After the final prayer, the choir would begin to sing this benediction as the pastor as his wife made their way out to the vestibule:
God be with you till we meet again,
By His counsels guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you,
God be with you till we meet again.
Growing up at my home church, this is how most Sunday worship services came to a close. A prayer said, a benediction sung, and the shuffling of feet out of pews, through the doors, and down the front steps. While I haven’t been at this church for many years, my mind occasionally wanders to the rituals and traditions that shaped my worship life for so many years, especially this sung benediction.
A benediction’s supposed to do a number of things, namely to send worshippers out in a spirit of worship, one in which God remains the center of their focus long after the piano’s quiet and the church doors are locked. Sunday after Sunday, this sung benediction helped me to do just that. It was a subtle, soulful reminder that God doesn’t remain in sanctuaries during the week but in the hearts and souls of those who worship Him.
God has the uncanny ability to go with us wherever we go. To the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, He’s right there with us. When we struggle with what to do or say, His still, small voice speaks to the stirrings of our souls and gives us the guidance and direction that we so desperately crave. And in those moments where we don’t know what to think or pray, God sits with us in the silence and hears those things in our hearts that we can’t seem to put words to.
No matter where life takes you today, claim the words of this benediction and let God be with you. Awaken your soul to the presence of Christ in your life and let a spirit of worship and praise carry you onward until we meet again.