The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
This is the concluding thought in the letter from Paul to the Philippians.
I have been thinking about departing words perhaps because in the last week I have been to a memorial mass and a funeral mass. It is not just our good-byes at death but the end of the day with our kids and when we are leaving someone after a visit.
Over the last 5 & 1/2 years we have had almost nothing but blessings spoken over us. We have pulled out from Marlborough, MA (twice now), Virginia Beach (03 & 04), Ft. Myers, FL (04 & 05), Tilman, MD (04), Knoxville, TN (05), Quichee, VT (05), Naples, FL (06), Gainesville, FL (07), Charlottesville, VA (07), Hull, MA (08). Each place has its dear people that hold special places in our hearts and those that we have gotten to know and love that have blessed by their words as much as their actions.
I would agree with James one of the writer in the New Testament that the tongue is the hardest thing for us to tame and that both blessings and curses come from the same place. For the last 20 plus years, the Lord has been at work in me, disciplining and training me and I still find myself with my foot in my mouth and lately, I have been choking on a calf muscles and knees (at least it wasn't the whole leg). I want to get back to just nippling on my toes once in a while.
This requires a very simple principle: THINK before you SPEAK. After pondering this for some time, in between my large blunders, what do I want the last word to be? Seems like a no brainer, blessing of course! If life were so clean! If sinners never sinned! Most of us, have to work at it. There are people out there that seem to just have "it." I just don't happen to be one of them.
Some of our favorites are: "I love you" "Thanks..." "See you soon" "Have a good day (unless you have other plans)" "Take care" "Safe home"
There are 4 that I want to say more often to four very special people in my life:
"May the God of Hope fill you, Michael with all joy and peace as you trust in Him. So that you may over flow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
"And God is able, Katie, to make all of his grace abound to you, so that at all times having all that you need you may abound in every good work."
"May our Lord Jesus Christ, himself and God our Father, who loves you, Grace and by his grace has given you eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your heart and strengthen you in every good deed and word."
"So then Daniel, just as you receive Christ Jesus as Lord continue to live in Him, be rooted and built up in Him and strengthened in the faith just as you were taught and be overflowing with thankfulness."
I would love to hear some of your favorite parting words!