Our services end with a blessing and a commission to go out and bear witness to Christ in our daily lives, in our vocations, and by sharing the Gospel with the world.  After having offered a sacrifice in the Old Testament, the priest would bless the worshiper saying, “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The LORD lift his countenance on you, and give you peace” (Num. 6:24-26).  In a similar fashion, the Apostle Paul characteristically ends his letters by invoking a blessing upon believers (Rom. 16:25-27; 1 Cor. 16:23-24; 2 Cor. 13:14); and the Apostle John ends the Book of Revelation with a word of blessing and anticipation of Christ’s return (Rev. 22:20-21).  The blessing with which a believer departs from worship, carries with it the calling to allow the practices which define our formal gathering—prayer, Scripture reading, song, responsiveness, meditation on God’s promises, etc.—to resound in his daily life for the rest of the week.  In this way, the blessing and divine presence which accompanies us when we go out from worship carries with it a commission to evangelize the world.  Thus, Jesus’ departing words in Matthew are both a promise of blessing, and a great commission to disciple the nations (Matt. 28:18-20; cf. Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; Deut. 4:5-8).  In keeping with these themes, our closing prayer is a petition for evangelistic fruits, and our closing song is marked by themes of anticipation for the fullness of God’s kingdom to come.  (For a description of the mid-week discipleship ministries at Trinitas, click here; and for details about the missions organizations that we support click here.)

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