The Anthems of Our Faith
Today was one of those days....people had been following the teacher, the rabbi, Jesus, from place to place. He decided to stop on an acoustically perfect hillside to share some proverb-like truths. He wanted to teach all who would listen:
- You’re blessed when you’re spiritually bankrupt; when you’re at the end of your rope; when you realize your can't do it on your own. With less of you there is more room for God; His kingdom is made up of ordinary fractured people like you.
- You’re blessed when you feel the spiritual emptiness in others; when you mourn & grieve for those most dear to you. Only then can you comfort others & encounter the One most dear to you.
- You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. In your meekness you can say: not my will but Your will be done.
- You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for the things that are important to God; when you ache for the world to be reconciled to the Eternal. As a deer longs for a stream of cool water, so I long for you, O God.
- You’re blessed when you receive mercy and are able to give mercy - then you’ll find yourselves cared for because mercy is love in action.
- You’re blessed when your mind and heart are put right; when you’ve Windexed the portal to your soul. Then you can see God in the outside world, when others don’t.
- You’re blessed when you build bridges; when you show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are in God’s family business.
- You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes mocking and being misunderstood, for the right reasons. This taunting drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom of heaven on earth.
Unfortunately, the principles of the Beatitudes are unattended, even missing, in many contemporary American churches. Maybe one of the problems is that the Beatitudes seem foreign, even sappy, to our contemporary ears. Maybe they are perceived as not relative to our "big" problems - nothing could be further from the truth…