Tonight is New Year’s Eve. Sunday we will focus on the Gospel text coming from Luke 2 where Jesus is officially named in the Temple. The Old Testament reading for the day comes from Numbers 6 and is known as “The Aaronic Benediction” or “The Priestly Blessing.” New Year’s eve is kind of a way of releasing last year into God’s hand for blessing and facing into the new year, seeking his blessing. We might spend some time thinking back over the year. Our family would pull out a calendar and group-think the events of each month. There will be high points and low points. There will be those moments when we all laugh as we remember some event. Perhaps there was a death, move, or graduation event when we reflect on the characteristics of the person.
God tells Moses to have his brother, Aaron, the first priest, say these words to bless the people of God. I thinkk it is a good way to end one phase and start another. We release our memories into God’s hands for keeping and pray for his blessing in what is to unfold.
The Aaronic benediction
“ ”24The Lord bless you and keep you;
25the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
26the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”