Sunday, November 8, 2015

Matthew 5:4-5 (NRSV): The Wounded and Worn Out

Matthew 5:4-5 (NRSV): The Wounded and Worn Out
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

Throughout the Gospels, Christ welcomes, heals, and liberates the outcasted meek who mourn. We do not see, in contrast, the Pharisees and Scribes with their flowing robes, preferred seating, ritualistic demeanor, and long public prayers as the captives being set free. Instead, it is the outcast, the prostitute, the tax collector, the leper, the child, and the widow who become the object of Christ’s healing and God’s grace -- those who are meek and mourn.  What sets them apart? Humility, self-admitted sin, and a longing to feel loved and renewed. One of my favorite writers, Philip Yancey, conveys the core message of the Beatitudes in his book The Jesus I Never Knew:

The Beatitudes express quite plainly that God views this world through a different set of lenses. God seems to prefer the poor and those who mourn to the Fortune 500 and supermodels who frolic on the beach. Oddly, God may prefer South Central L. A. to Malibu Beach, and Rwanda to Monte Carlo. In fact, one could almost subtitle the Sermon on the Mount not “survival of the fittest” but “triumph of the victims.” (113)

May you all be blessed and encouraged in the love and peace of Christ.  

Please keep each other and our special intentions in prayer this week.  

Stan