There is a second benediction at University Baptist Church. It is not in our order of worship. It is given after worship. It is given on the steps of the church facing our city.
The second benediction is a personal blessing. It comes after a handshake, amid a brief word exchanged. Sometimes the word is the individual’s interpretation of the proclamation heard inside the sanctuary. Sometimes the word is a request, and oftentimes the word is gratitude.
That personal word is immediately social because of the exchange. The word becomes flesh and moves down the steps, to the sidewalk, up and down the street, throughout our neighborhood. It is a blessing on the move. It is a blessing that blesses others who never enter our sanctuary.
So the second benediction becomes a nod, a smile, a greeting to passersby, strangers who nevertheless are members of our community.
And this is how good news gets out.
And this is how the Spirit draws out our good word and scatters it in the traffic.
Where the benediction will go, we do not know. But we would follow it, all the days of our lives.