Sunday 31 October 2010

Bible Book:

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (v.4)

Matthew 5:1-12 Sunday 31 October 2010


Today's Scripture passage is taken from Jesus' Sermon on theMount. More specifically, we're looking at the part of that sermoncommonly referred to as the Beatitudes. (The word 'beatitude' comesfrom the Latin beatitudo, meaning 'blessedness'.) Jesus is speakingprimarily to his disciples here; the twelve who have followed himup the mountain.

"Blessed" is a word whose true meaning seems to have been corruptedsomewhat today. We are often told to 'count our blessings', and itis right that we remember the good things we have and are thankfulto God for them. But that is really a rather temporal, materialview of what 'blessing' is. In some ways, Jesus seems to be sayingthe opposite here. How can you be 'blessed' if you are mourning?Surely the blessing is having all your loved ones alive andwell!

Right from the word go, Jesus lets those who would follow him knowthat it will not be an easy ride. But the promise is there that hewill see us through all that life throws at us. Mourning andpersecution are not happy places to be in. Yet Jesus assures usthat in such dire circumstances we have a promise of blessing. Whathe offers is reassurance, not that 'everything's going to be allright', but that God is with us in the hard times.

People do tend to think 'God is good' only when things are goingwell. It's a lot harder to see 'God in this' when things are notgoing as we would like - so maybe that is why Jesus focuses so muchhere on letting his disciples know that there are blessings inlife's low moments.

To Ponder

How does Jesus' idea of what it means to be'blessed' differ from ours?

What do you think Jesus would say today tosurvivors of the recent floods in Pakistan, landslides in China orthe Haiti earthquakes, as they mourn their lost loved ones?

As we mark All Saints Sunday today, which peoplewill you take time out for in order to thank God for bringing theminto your life?

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