On Sunday we looked at the most beautiful sermon ever given…and of course it was given by Jesus. We looked at the Beatitudes found in Matthew. These are beautiful promises, pronouncements, and announcements that blessing is being given by God. That in God’s Kingdom blessing flows. The beautiful thing about the Beatitudes are that they aren’t extra to-dos. The Beatitudes aren’t telling us what more we need to do to be blessed. The Beatitudes are telling us that God is about blessing, and he is giving it free of charge. Are you poor in spirit – burn out and broken? Blessing is for you. Are you mourning – experiencing loss and hurt? Blessing is for you. Are you trying to show mercy in chaos? Blessing is for you. This is the radical nature of the Beatitudes and of our God. That he gives blessing regardless of whether we deserve it, can earn it, or even appreciate it. God is about blessing and life.
And so on Sunday we really tried to rest in this reality. To help to do this we read and listened to the Beatitudes. We simply sat and asked God to speak to us through his promises in the Beatitudes. To help with this I read a targum (an expanded and interpretation added version) of Matthew 5:3-10. I simply invited the church to ask God to speak to them through it. And I’m going to invite you to do the same. Why not sit, read, and ask God to speak to you through it. And of course, my hope is that you might experience some of the blessing God wants to give.
God blesses those who realize their need for him, Because with less of you there is more room for God. When you’re are at the end of your rope, and your strength is failing, that’s when he shows up in a furious torrent of love and strength. When you’re lost and wandering in the desert, His love will chase and capture your heart leading you to his rest, presence, and purpose
God blesses those who mourn, who weep, who have lost, and feel broken. He will not let you break, he will not let your heart run empty of hope. When your heart is broken, healing is on the way – hope on the horizon. When your spirit is lost and low, God sends his Holy Spirit that mends the tears and wipes away the tears.
God blesses those who are gentle and lowly. When you’re simply content with just who you are – no more, no less, the world belongs to you – because you belong to God. Those who place trust in God – and not others, will know great peace and victory over all things, and all evil.
God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for Justice. Who see the world as God sees it. For you will know righteous living flowing from you like a river, changing the tide of history. When you desire justice – You will be filled. When righteousness is your hunger, God will fill your soul – and loose the Spirit in your life.
God blesses those who are merciful because mercy will be abundantly theirs. When kindness becomes a habit, God’s presence becomes a never-ending reality. When you find yourself full of caring, you will find yourself cared for by the lover of your soul.
God blesses those who have a pure heart, for they will see God. For those who know Jesus, God’s presence is never far away but always right before your eyes ready to be seen.
God blesses those who work for peace, who stand up for reconciliation in the midst of chaos. You are invited into God’s family. Your peace and grace-filled actions mark you as God’s and God’s alone – You are his firstborn.
God blesses those who are persecuted, because the kingdom is yours – here today. When you are slandered, taken to town, and thrown to the dogs because of your love of Jesus, know that you do not stand alone – Jesus stands with you and stands up for you. When you are hurt -and you respond in grace, then the kingdom is fully alive in your life – bursting out sending light to dark places.