“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”
Two Sundays ago I preached on these words from Matthew. To summarize my sermon for those not here on Sunday, my point was that Jesus might have been using these words to foreshadow his ministry and set an example for all of us to follow. “Blessed” can be a funny term to define in our context, but most of us can acknowledge that when we ‘feel’ blessed, we ‘feel’ loved, supported, cared for and ‘feel’ the presence of God in our lives. We don’t just feel the love because we have given X dollars to the church, because of our position in the church or community, or because we have the biggest and best gifts, but because of the ministry of the members.