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 satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Matthew 5:3-10 (NET)
In times of struggle and stress, I find myself reading Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. There is always a verse or a teaching or a parable from these chapters that are pertinent to the situation that caused me to turn to them. Instructions on how to treat others, or on how to do good for other, or on how to approach biblical law. In this time of collective struggle and stress, I have found myself turning to the Sermon on the Mount more often than usual. It has made me recognize that the instructions given in Christ’s sermon are largely personal, at least from the perspective of a reader two thousand years later. It makes me wish to be among the people who heard this sermon, to understand the community Christ was addressing. I wish to be a part of that crowd.
The reason why I chose the Beatitudes specifically is because I just finished a Bible study with a group on these verses. We began before covid-19 made its way to the States, so we got the chance to meet in person. About halfway through our study we started using online platforms to host meetings. Through our study, my wish came true. Being able to understand scripture in the context of our own small community was a blessing each week. The honesty and love expressed in our group helped to erase the alienation time and culture had imposed on me in these texts. I have found my crowd.
Thankyou to Bonnie Klein for hosting this study. I am grateful that from now on when I think of the Beatitudes, I will think of you as well. Thankyou to our pastors, David and Meghan, who remain committed to creating a generously loving and inclusive church.
Father God I pray that as this crises continues we are able to find communities to belong to even as we remain physically distanced.