Such powerful magic--when one looks into the eyes of another and speaks Love...with or without words. As a pastor, I have known this indescribable joy of connection. These connections have been one on one, yet are even more startlingly fulfilling when God's Holy Spirit of Love connects pastor with a congregation.
I often feel this mysterious connection as I bless the congregation at the end of a service. A blessing is a gift I only recently learned to give. I now end a service with something like: You are the people of God. And you are--and live amongst a world full of those--stamped with God's image. Go and be the person and presence of Jesus! It seems so much more fitting than asking God to "protect us on the way home and bring us back next week. You are dismissed."
And we are to be a benediction--a blessing--to those with whom we interface day after day. And so I give you this blessing today.
You are loved by Almighty God. This very day, you are the target of his devotion and affection. Now go and live in God's love and forgiveness, and offer this grace and peace to those around you.