Contemplating the Beatitudes: preparing to preach on Matthew 5:1-12; Epiphany 4A

The gospel reading for this coming Sunday is Matthew 5:1-12, known as the Beatitudes. The reading is so familiar that we all too often read the beatitudes as if they were a  prescription. However, when read as a description they take on a whole new meaning. Jesus climbed up above the crowd, looked around and saw the poor, the grieving, the gentle, those who were hungry and thirsty for justice, the merciful, the righteous, the peacemakers and the persecuted; and Jesus comforted, uplifted and inspired them with the truth that they are blessed. Jesus was not telling the crowd how to live he was recognizing and affirming who they are. Can we hear this affirmation of our lives? As I prepare to preach on this text, I see the faces my congregation and I know that they are blessed for they too are the poor, the grieving, the gentle, those who are hungry and thirsty for justice, the merciful, the righteous, the peacemakers and the persecuted. The Good News is that the Kindom of Heaven is theirs. 

Walk With Me: Mary Youngblood

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