When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” ~ Matthew 5:1-12
I wonder if we have become so familiar with the Beatitudes that we miss their power?
This week, the lectionary has given all kinds of ways in which God's kingdom is upside down and backwards from the kingdoms of this world.
Do we like to think of ourselves living in a world where it is a blessing to be reviled and persecuted?
Do we value peacemakers as we ought?
Do we comfort those who mourn and find blessing in them?
God is a God of surprises and a God of those who are down and out.
God is a God of mercy, but also a God who calls us to be merciful.
What are the ways in which you've seen God's upside down world at work in your life?
What are the ways God's mercy has moved you to mercy?
What are the ways you have been blessed in the most surprising manner?
Bless me O God so that I may be a blessing to your world. Amen