Jesus and his disciples climb up the mountain, maybe to get a better view of the crowds--a "big picture" if you will--of the sick, distressed, oppressed, drooping, mourning and hurting people who gathered around him. Then Jesus looks on them all and proclaims them blessed. It's most certainly the opposite of what we think of as "blessed" people. Looking around us, it's easy to assume that God has blessed the healthy, the confident, those with abundance, the smart ones--right?
But in a similar way to yesterday's reflections about the world not recognizing God, again we are reminded that even (and especially) in our struggles we are blessed, because in those moments God is nearer than ever. In our heartache, in our fear, in the unknown, in the waiting, God is especially near. Discomfort and pain only remind us that the kingdom which is promised, is not yet fully here.
God, rather than trying to be something I'm not, will you be near in the places I'm trying to hide? Since I'm your beloved saint, please bless me in my brokenness, and use my brokenness to point to your goodness. Amen.
Matthew 5:1-12 (NRSV)
1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.