The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
Philippians 4:23 (NIV)
Through the centuries people have made various changes in how they greet and take their leave of one another. For example in my country of Canada in my generation, when people take their leave of someone they usually say “goodbye” to the person.
That is a perfectly acceptable thing to say. But in biblical times there were many very meaningful ways to express yourself on parting. Our verse today is a fine example of how to part from someone.
Another wonderful and biblical thing to say when departing was “The Lord be with you.” And when entering a believer’s home a person might say, “Peace to you and your house.” These rich statements are full of blessing and good wishes.
However, only when you know the history of the expression “Goodbye”, will that comment mean something significant. Originally it meant “God be with you.” Sad to say today when we say “Goodbye” we do not mean God be with you because we lack the knowledge of the original term.
I believe western world Christians have lost a wonderful way of speaking when we say, “Goodbye” instead of these very meaningful words which have a wealth of meaning.
Perhaps we would be considered “odd” or “different” if we started to express ourselves in a more biblical way. But would it not be exciting if a sincere believer parted ways with you by saying, “The Lord bless you and keep you.”?
I know that I will not start a new way for Christians to speak to each other but hopefully the movement toward richer comments will begin with some brave soul.
Today may “The Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you and give you peace.”