When the Israelites began traveling in the wilderness toward the Promised Land, before the judgment to wandering due to their unbelief and disobedience, God would guide them by a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night (Numbers 9:16-17). Even after the judgment to wandering, God would still lead them. When the cloud would move and guide them to go, Moses would say, “Arise, YHWH! Let your enemies be scattered, and those who hate you flee from your presence” (Numbers 10:35). When the cloud came to rest he would say, “Return, YHWH, to the countless thousands of Israel” (10:36).
I find this interesting and was considering some biblical-theological connections here. The church is the temple since it is united to Christ and the Spirit lives in her. The church scatters and gathers. The church is on it’s way to the promised land and wandering and enduring to get their by faith (Heb 13:14; 1 Peter 2:11). So maybe we can adopt something like this.
When our church gathers, we may say something like:
Return, YHWH, to your people, the church. Draw near to us as we’ve gathered together again as your temple to draw near to you together.
When we send off our people to scatter for the week, perhaps we can say something like:
Arise, YHWH! Let your enemies be scattered, and those who hate you flee from your presence. But even more, let the gospel of grace transfer rebels made in your image from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of your Son!
There can be advantages and disadvantages to this type of pronouncement. I need to give this a bit more thought.