Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12
…poor – …meek – …mourning – …hungry & thirsty
…persecuted – …merciful – …peacemakers
Jesus climbed up a mountain and sat down to teach about his kingdom. He began by saying that those were the blessed ones–the poor, meek, sad, longing, wounded, conflicted, persecuted ones. How strange the realm of God is to us. Most of us come to God seeking blessings–but these are not the blessings we desire. If these are blessings, we pray for an empty cup.
This Sunday we begin a new worship series called ‘Uncomfortable Blessings,’ exploring the ways that God meets us, grows us, heals us and–yes–blesses us in the most difficult and painful times in our lives. The irony is not lost on me that we’re turning to these ideas as many of us are living in one of the most prolonged seasons of discomfort and loss of our lives.
But I promise you, church–this is good news.
Because Jesus has no need to lie to us. Here he is reassuring us that even in our most broken human moments, God’s goodness hovers over us. When our hearts are shattered by this fallen world, God’s goodness gathers the shards and binds us back together in grace. Even when we are forced to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God’s goodness and mercy chase after us. Wherever we are, however we are–God’s goodness follows and finds and frees us.
Jesus is announcing that the goodness of his Kingdom lifts up and restores those the world grinds down. If your heart is heavy, if your soul is weary, this good news is especially for you.