Benedictions are active things. They offer and give and create what they say. I have had many benedictions sent my way in the last week. I am getting wonderful feedback, sympathetic understanding, evangelical bolstering, amazing words of encouragement. My mother died on Saturday, August 1 and I preached on the feeding of the 5000 August 2. Everything is set up in the feeding of the 5000 by the word “compassion”. Jesus had compassion on the crowds because they were like sheep without a shepherd and so Jesus does some thing about their plight. The phrase gracious tenacity pops into my mind every time I read this section of the scripture, every time I see how Jesus treated the poor and hungry and lame and blind. The tenacity can be seen in so many ways. The suggestion of the disciples to feed them is a great lesson for us. He tells us to do things and gives us the supply to do it. Christ tenaciously sets out for Jerusalem to die and nothing can stop him from finishing his task of freeing us from sin, death and the devil.
My issue is attribution for the wonderful phrase. I know that the term has stuck with me through many presentations on mercy and the theology of mercy in the Lutheran Church. I made presentations all around the country and my presentation was the result of a lot of study. I try to attribute sources as much as I can but this one escapes me. Whoever wrote it or said it anchored it in my mind and obviously affected a lot of people when I preached about it. So to that unknown source thanks, and I am sorry I cannot give credit where it is due.