The pastor extended his hands toward us. “And now, receive this benediction.” And he began to sing:
“May the peace of God, our heav’nly Father,
And the grace of Christ, the risen Son,
And the fellowship of God the Spirit
Keep your hearts and minds within His love.”
And I thought my heart might burst because for a moment I saw right through: they weren’t just Darrell's hands outstretched over us in blessing. They were Jesus’ hands. And it wasn’t just Darrell singing over us; the face of the Father was turned toward us, shining on us, the voice that spoke worlds into place singing tender love.
He was singing the same song Jesus always sings over us: grace and peace. Those words at the start of most of Paul's letters? They're not just a greeting from Paul: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Our God sings grace over us like a love song or a lullaby, grace that erases all the places we've failed. He sings peace too, a song that delights in us and invites us to enter and rest there.
And when you hear His grace and His peace being sung over you, sung to you—to you—what can you do but lift your hands and your heart and your whole bursting self and join in?
“And to Him be praise for His glorious reign;
From the depths of earth to the heights of heaven
We declare the name of the Lamb once slain—
Christ eternal, the King of kings.” 1
1You can listen to this song by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty here.