“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations” (67:1-2).
God’s grace and blessing are pictured in this psalm (echoing the benediction of Num. 6:24-26) as his face shining upon his people.
People’s faces shine for all sorts of reasons. A bride and groom on their wedding day shine with love for one another. A new mother’s face shines with contentment as she holds her new infant. My son Jonas’s face shines in the morning as he greets a new day (“good morning, daddy!”). A victorious army (or SF Giants!) shines in celebration.
This psalm says that God’s face shines in grace and blessing. Our Lord simply radiates grace. So much so, that his saving power is to be known, not just among his people, but “among all nations” (67:2).
You and I, first and foremost, are to see the glorious, bright-shining grace of our Lord and God. We are to see his beauty and mercy towards us and be so taken by it that the natural response of having seen that grace is not to keep it for ourselves, but to spread it among all nations. We have the glorious privilege of getting to share the good news of God’s grace with those around us.
Grace isn’t something to be taken and buried. It’s something to hold up for all to see. The church doesn’t get grace so that it can congratulate itself on having received it. We get grace so that we can give that grace to others, both in word (telling people of the gospel!) and in deed (letting our gratitude for the gospel spill out of us into good works towards others). Grace makes mission. It’s always been that way, always will be until that Day.