April 1 - Matthew 5:1-9

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1 - Matthew 5:1-9

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

I've read or heard these words read aloud multitudes of times.  As I read it today, I chuckled.  The one pastor who could truly bring a hellfire / damnation sermon began one of his first public sermons by talking about those who are blessed or even easier to understand, those who are happy.

You see, it isn't difficult to find ourselves in one of these categories and we are all immensely blessed even when we have trouble identifying those blessings.  The other side of the coin is that those around us also fit into these categories and they receive the same blessings from God.

As cynical as we can be, we recognize mercy when we see it and we recognize the desire to be righteous or pure in heart. We recognize the utter tranquility that comes from those who bring peace to a stressful situation.  We ache with those who mourn.  Those whose lives seem to have come unglued around them and don’t know how to find their way out of a bad situation are offered the opportunity to be in the midst of the kingdom of heaven and those whom we don’t even see as we bustle past them will be given all they have missed.

Jesus came to bring new life to each of us.  He came to bring joy and love and peace. He came to bring hope.  He begins by blessing those who come to him with humble hearts.