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Musings

:: Halverson Benediction

Rev. Dr. Richard Halverson, 1916-1995

You go nowhere by accident.
Wherever you go, God is sending you there.
Wherever you are, God has put you there.
He has a purpose in your being there.

Christ, who indwells in you, has something He wants to do through you,
wherever you are.

Believe this, and go in His grace, and love, and power. Amen! 

I was rummaging through one of my computer’s archives tonight looking for an old document when I came across a file named “benediction.doc“. I opened it up and remembered why I saved it about seven years ago. This was a benediction used by the late Rev. Richard Halverson, former chaplain to the U.S. Senate. You may have heard or read it before, as I think it has become widely disseminated. In fact, my own Google search on it tonight even revealed a few church websites and pastor blogs that describe their own adaptation of it. This is a very “missional” benediction, and I think it may have been  received by our government leaders more as an admonition than a blessing.

I believe that God has a purpose and plan for everything. (See Jer. 29:11) But beyond that, I think I had made note of it, and saved it in my computer archive because I like how Halverson reminds us that Christ “who indwells” us has something he wants us to do for Him. So, it really is a call to a mission of Jesus’ design – not of our own – that Halverson’s words guide us to.

There are so many “traditional” benedictions around – many of them scripture based. You can often hear the “Aaronic” benediction of “May the Lord bless you and keep you…” from Numbers 6:22. There is also the Jude 1:24 “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling…”  And you very often hear the brief, “The Lord be with You,” followed by the congregational “And also with you,” which is an abbreviated version of Paul’s close to his letter to the church in Philippi (see Phil. 4:23).

Scripture based blessings are, like all words in the good book, God-inspired. So, all of the above examples are wonderful. Havlerson’s was his signature as well as his pastoral blessing, and it really spoke volumes about how he saw our place before God. He wanted to remind his congregants that true followers of Jesus belong to Him, and that as a result He has purpose for us.