Scripture: Luke 6:20-31
Key verses: (20-27) 20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. 24“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. 26“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. 27“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you
Reflection: We strive to be good people. In our efforts, we often lift up the value of perfectionism. Our children and youth learn that they are to be good, do good and strive for perfection in everything. No wonder when we read the Beatitudes we begin to think about how we can achieve each one. We look at the list and consider all the things we can be doing (or not doing) to be the best that we believe God wants. As hard as we try, the Beatitudes seem to be an impossible standard.
The good news is that Jesus is describing God, not you. Nadia Bolz Webber says that, “The Beatitudes are descriptive of God’s kingdom, not prescriptive of what we need to try to be more of.” God is in the places in this world that have been abandoned and avoided by most of us. We say that God is everywhere, but I wonder if we really think God in the places that are good, clean and beautiful. We know that God is everywhere and everyone is welcome in God’s kingdom, but it is hard to believe. This sermon from Jesus is a reminder of our God that is really big and really loving. Maybe this sermon has nothing to do with us and everything to do with God.
Prayer: God, help me catch myself from seeing goodness and faithfulness. Guide me to be your servant instead of just a good citizen. In the name of your son Jesus. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].