Breathing, Being and Benedictions

Breathing, Being and Benedictions

by Kevin Butler

 

After my Korner in June, some people were hoping to hear my plan for what I’ll be doing next. Here it is:

Breathing.

I want to pull back from a quarter-century of deadlines and just breathe for a bit. I want to concentrate on “being” more than doing.

In April, I was immensely blessed to participate in a “Biblical Imagination” conference led by singer, author and scholar Michael Card. He has produced commentaries and musical albums based on the Gospels of Luke and Mark, and this latest conference reviewed his work in Matthew.

The timing of this conference on the Gospel of Matthew was perfect. Michael Card sees “identity” as a huge focus for the apostle. Who are we in the eyes of God and others?

Our last exercise for the two-day gathering was for each of us to re-write the Beatitudes from a personal perspective. As I was inspired and wrote “my” Beatitudes, I was struck at the progression that will soon hit me in real life—that of being an editor, a former editor, then just me.

 

Blessed is the “lone wolf,” only-paid-staff editor who has a lot of people to thank for a 25-year run, knowing that there’s NO WAY he could have done it “alone”—for his is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed is this editor who mourns for not always giving credit to others (or God)—for he shall be comforted.

Blessed is the editor who gives thanks and gives it up and gives it over to others—for he shall inherit the earth.

Blessed is the former editor who lays down the title and the position and recognition and deadlines to seek God—for he shall be filled.

Blessed is the former editor who plans to give of himself to others instead of expecting or demanding of others—for he shall be shown mercy.

Blessed am I when I have one focus and one purpose and one motive: to give God the glory—for I shall see God.

Blessed am I when I teach others this way of life, guiding them to peace—for I shall be called a son of God.

Blessed am I when my co-workers and so-called successful friends call me crazy—for mine is the kingdom of heaven.

 

They come in threes

When radio humorist Garrison Keillor signs off on the daily Writer’s Almanac, his encouragement is to “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.” That’s pretty good.

Some of the most popular and memorable biblical phrases include three items.

In Micah 6:8 we are to “Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.”

The great love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 guides us toward “Faith, hope and love.”

Paul closes his second letter to the church in Corinth with, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

So how do I close out my final Korner?

I go back to Michael Card and remember a benediction he voiced at the end of a special Christmas concert last year. Funny, it’s got three parts—and for emphasis he repeated it three times. I bestow it upon you, thanking you for your faithful readership and support:

 

     Go and be God’s people, forgiving each other, and loving one another deeply.

 

     Go and be God’s people, forgiving each other, and loving one another deeply.

 

     Go and be God’s people, forgiving each other, and loving one another deeply. AMEN.

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