Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12
Key verse: (3) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Reflection: I was holding our baby when someone told me how wonderful it was to have a healthy infant. I hesitantly said something like “yes, we are grateful.” The other person quickly scolded me and told me we were blessed. Blessed? Really? So does that mean that God chooses some couples to “bless” with healthy children and other families aren’t “blessed”? I don’t think that fits with my understanding of God.
When we read today’s passage, we get a glimpse of what it means to be blessed by God. Jesus proclaims God’s blessings on the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted. Apparently in God’s kingdom, the blessed ones are an interesting bunch. They aren’t the people the world considers blessed – the healthy, the happy, the prosperous, the successful.
As a disciple of Jesus today, how will you identify the blessings of God? How will you join God in blessing the unexpected ones? In a world where #blessed is a quick affirmation of worldly happiness and success, how can you live as a citizen of a kingdom in which #blessed may be a word for the least, the lost, the last, and the lonely? Bless an unlikely person today as you live in Jesus’ way in this world.
Prayer: Dear Lord, open my eyes to notice the people you choose to bless. Disrupt my assumptions and empower me to bless them too. Give me courage to live in the way of Jesus in this world. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[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].