Sunday, November 01, 2015

You're Blessed

By Diane Bayne


Following is a thought-provoking, “piety describing,” translation of Matthew 5:1-12 from The Message (MSG):

“When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.” 
                                                Matthew 5: 1-12, The Message (MSG)

On the Beatitudes, Richard Rohr has commented:

“Each of these invitations, for that is what they are, are concerned about vulnerable and outpouring relationship, which is necessary for the second half of life, in the same way that the Ten Commandments serve for ego-identity in the first half of life. The Beatitudes are descriptions of a mature human person much more than prescriptions for other-worldly salvation. They offer something astoundingly new to human consciousness, which is a lifestyle based on vulnerability, mutuality, service--and thus a willingness to be usable for God, history, healing, and one another. . . Yet isn’t it interesting that people always want the Ten Commandments on American courthouse lawns but never the Eight Beatitudes? The beatitudes of Jesus are second-half-of-life statements, and frankly ridiculous and naive to first-half-of-life people. They make Jesus sound like a soft, war-protesting, tree-hugging, bleeding heart liberal.

– Adapted from Loving the Two Halves of Life: The Further Journey by Richard Rohr

Does the above description remind you of anyone you know? Do you find any traces of yourself?  If not, what changes can you make so as to resemble more closely one or more of the descriptions in this Scripture?

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