There's just something about blessing and benediction that gives me goosebumps. I think its got something to do with witnessing a love that calls down all the good things from heaven on behalf of someone else. So when I read this take on the beatitudes this week I wept - its just too beautiful. By Nadia Bolz-Weber:
Because, what if the beatitudes aren’t about a list of conditions we should try and meet to be blessed. What if these are not virtues we should aspire to but what if… the sermon on the mount is all about Jesus’ seemingly lavish blessing of the world around him. So maybe Jesus is actually just blessing people, especially the people who never seem to receive blessings otherwise.
I mean, come on, doesn’t that just sound like something Jesus would do? Extravagantly throwing around blessings as though they grew on trees? Because I like to imagine Jesus here standing among us saying:
Blessed are the agnostics.
Blessed are they who doubt, who aren't sure, who can still be surprised.
Blessed are those who are spiritually impoverished and therefore not so certain about everything that they no longer take in new information.
Blessed are those who have nothing to offer.
Blessed are the pre-schoolers who cut in line at communion.
Blessed are the poor in spirit. You are of heaven, and Jesus blesses you.
Blessed are they for whom death is not an abstraction.
Blessed are they who've buried their loved ones, for whom tears could fill an ocean.
Blessed are they who've loved enough to know what loss feels like.
Blessed are the mothers of the miscarried.
Blessed are they who don't have the luxury of taking things for granted any more.
Blessed are they who can't fall apart because they have to keep it together for everyone else.
Blessed are those who still aren't over it yet.
Blessed are those who mourn. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.
Blessed are those who no one else notices: the kids who sit alone at middle school lunch tables, the laundry guys at the hospital, the sex workers, and the nightshift street sweepers.
Blessed are the forgotten.
Blessed are the closeted.
Blessed are the unemployed, the unimpressive, the under represented.
Blessed are the teens who have to figure out how to hide the new cuts on their arms.
Blessed are the meek. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.
Blessed are the wrongly accused, the ones who never catch a break, the ones for whom life is hard, for Jesus chose to surround himself with people like you.
Blessed are those without documentation.
Blessed are the ones without lobbyists.
Blessed are foster kids and special ed kids and every other kid who just wants to feel safe and loved.
Blessed are those that make terrible business decisions for the sake of people.
Blessed are the burned out social workers and the overworked teachers and the pro bono case takers.
Blessed are kind-hearted football players and fundraising trophy wives.
Blessed are kids who step between the bullies and the weak.
Blessed are those who hear they're forgiven.
Blessed are the merciful, for they totally get it.
Full post from Nadia here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber/2014/11/some-modern-beatitudes-a-sermon-for-all-saints-sunday/