A Christmas Benediction
This advent season, I was able to spend time leading women through four ways we encounter Jesus in the book of John.
He is the who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29-34)
He is the bread from heaven that nourishes and strengthens our souls. (John 6:22-59)
He is the Good Shepherd who knows each one of us by name and is faithfully committed to caring for his flock. (John 10:1-18)
And he is our priest who prays—for us. (John 17)
I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to fully comprehend the magnitude of all of this. And yet, he is so much more. He is the benevolent king who reigns and governs with righteousness and justice. He is our brother, who is not ashamed to be identified with us. He’s the suffering servant who is able to sympathize with us in our weakness. He is Immanuel, God with us. And he is the Savior who has promised to return for us, restore all that is broken, and wipe away every tear from our eyes.
So, I am pressing pause for the next two weeks to be fully present to the arrival of Christ and the hope and nourishment that brings.
But before I do that, I’d like to thank all of you who have been a part of The Wholehearted Project and joined me on this journey. Thank you for all the ways you’ve supported and encouraged me—whether through your messages, sharing the content with others, or your financial gifts, which enables me to continue creating content with the hopes of helping others engage their stories, encounter Jesus, and experience hope, healing, and freedom. I am so very thankful to get to share the hope of Christ with all of you. And I am looking forward to continuing our journey together next year.
But before I go, I would like to speak a benediction over you. I love benedictions in the Bible! A benediction is just a word of blessing spoken over another—usually at the end of gathering of believers before they are sent back into the world.
One of my favorites is from Numbers 6:24-26:
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
I love to close my eyes and let the words wash over me. To let them seep into all the cracks and crevices of my soul and receive them as the parched soil receives the rain.
So may you receive these words as my blessing over you:
May your soul be encouraged by the arrival of our Savior.
May his Spirit assure you of his unrelenting, faithful love.
May the compassion of Jesus, our suffering servant, comfort you in your sorrow and suffering.
May you know the companionship of Immanuel, God with us, in your loneliness and loss.
May you find rest from the heavy burden of performance in Christ crucified—the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
May you feast on Christ—the living water and bread from heaven—and may he fill, nourish, and strengthen your soul.
May you lie down and sleep in peace and security, knowing that the Good Shepherd never sleeps and is ever watching over you.
May his promise to one day right all wrongs give you hope in the face of injustice and harms you’ve suffered at the hands of another.
May you be comforted in the knowledge that Jesus, our risen and reigning Savior, is always praying for you.
And may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
All my love,