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The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 are well known in Christian circles.
- Blessed are the spiritually poor – the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
- Blessed are those who mourn – they will be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek and gentle – they will inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – they will be filled.
- Blessed are the merciful – they will be shown mercy.
- Blessed are those who are pure in heart – they will see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers – they will be called children of God.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness – the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
In today’s world, these do not make a whole lot of sense. We strive for success, wealth, strength, and power. Being poor in anything makes us look weak, right?
When is it better to poor than wealthy?
When is it better to mourn than celebrate?
When is it better to be meek and gentle rather that assertive and powerful?
When is it better to hunger than be sated?
When is it better to show mercy than asserting my rights?
When is it better to stand for purity than follow the crowd?
When is it better to be a peacemaker than to take a side?
When is it better to be persecuted than to seek safety?
It is inside the COMMUNITY of the church…other believers…where the beatitudes make sense.
Jesus is building a new community…a new church. Not a church for the righteous, but for sinners…for the broken. If we, as Christ followers, do not understand our own brokenness, we have a big problem. We tend to want to hide our brokenness, but as a community of believers, we are to share our burdens and find rest in grace that Christ provides. The church is a group of the broken offering grace and hope to the broken in the world.
When left to our own devices, we struggle with anxiety, trying to live a life that doesn’t meet up with the vision we have created for the life we want to live. But in community, life is better than the life of the individual. It would be hard for a hand to work on it’s own, without the eye seeing the need and telling it how and where to work. They need each other to do what’s needed. So it is with the body of Christ. It’s in the body of Christ that we find our true purpose and meaning.
Community is better than the individual. It is blessed.
How are you living in community today?
***Taken from the notes from John Ketchersid’s sermon 1/25/2015.