New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’
The verse is the official United Methodist youth blessing. It is, also, the conclusion of every meeting of the youth group where I grew up. We would cross arms (right over left) to bring us closer and then at the end twist out while still connected and facing the world. We left a space in the circle for members who weren't there, members yet to come, Jesus, and members who had moved on. We would go around the circle with our prayers and praises. It's a special time and one that defines the group for me. As an adult facing a tough week, I would still draw strength from the group as we closed on Sundays and remind myself we were praying for each other.
We always went to the Ichthus festival. Our group was a little different in that it was a senior high only trip. I can't tell you how big of a deal it was to finally be a freshman. At the end of the festival we got a necklace to remind us of our blessing. Each bead stood for a different part of the verse and the cord was green for growth. Except that was 1992, needless to say I have replaced the cord and a couple beads since. The blue bead is to look up to see God, and you see the blue sky.
The yellow bead is to remind us of the sun as God makes his face shine upon us.
The white bead is to remind us of the peace God is granting us.
The freshman girls said we'd never take it off. I don't know about the others, but I still wear it most days to remind me of it. I know it looks plain, but it really is something I treasure a great deal.