There is something so hopeful and comforting to me about the benediction- the charge and blessing that concludes every worship service together.
I can remember sitting in the front row of church as a child, trying in vain to memorize the words my dad concluded each service with. Then as an adult I can remember being new to staff at Preston Hollow and watching with delight as some of our youth mouthed the words along with Matthew’s benediction from the balcony.
And now I have the joy and privilege of helping lead the weekly chapel service at the Preston Hollow Day School, where we close each chapel with the familiar words of Blair’s benediction- hand motions and all.
There is something so holy, comforting and powerful about ending a service with a benediction, because it is one final charge and blessing to remind us who we are and who we’re called to be.
As a result, this past week we decided to write a youth house benediction. We want shared language that every youth can memorize that will serve as a reminder to them about how fiercely they are loved.
So on Monday night at our Worship in the House team meeting, we asked the students- “What do youth need to hear one more time before they leave this space? What reminders do they need? What encouragement do they need? What do you want your peers to know?” The leadership team had beautiful responses. They said things like- “Care for creation.” “Love all people, no matter what.” “Use your voice.” “Be courageous.” “Be compassionate.” “Come back soon.”
Their responses were truly wonderful. As a result, we crafted two sample benedictions, which the Worship and the House team voted on, and beginning this week, we will close all our gatherings with these words- holy, powerful reminders of who we are and who we’re called to be.