Yesterday, we reflected on the name of Jesus, who fulfills all God’s past, present, and future promises of salvation. Today, we reflect on the name of God, not only as the source or the power, but the very content of divine blessing.
In the story of Moses’ call to liberate God’s new covenant people from slavery in Egypt, God reveals the divine name in a burning bush on the holy ground of Mount Horeb: “I Am Who I Am,” often translated Yahweh or Jehovah. In today’s reading, including the most familiar benediction of our church’s worship liturgy, God’s name is substituted four times with “The LORD,” capitalized as a reverent precaution against potential violation of God’s second commandment.
Nonetheless, the blessing invokes God’s sacred name, not merely as a spoken priestly word to send us on our way in hope that all will be well with us, but rather, to convey the divine promise of God’s presence with us-Emmanuel-in the here and now of daily life, to sustain, nurture, strengthen and lead all God’s children into the promised future of God’s abundant providence.
Bless us this day, and all the days of our life, O LORD. Sustain us, nurture us, strengthen us and lead us in faith, until we gather in the promised future of your abundant providence. Amen. — PL