Beatitudes (Matthew 5)
We aren’t called to save the world. But we are called to make a difference. We can’t do everything. But we can do something. And what we can do, we ought to do. That’s what being salt and light is all about.
Some of us need to consider this beatitude very carefully. It’s not that’s we’ve said anything against Jesus. We really haven’t said anything at all. We’ve gone along and gotten along. We’re whittled down the sharp edges of our faith so we’re no longer like square pegs in round holes. Some of us “fit” too snugly in the holes of the world.
Our Lord is on a recruiting mission this morning. He’s looking for a few volunteers to join God’s Peace Corps. He’s looking for a few good men and a few good women who will spread God’s peace all over the world. There is so much war, so much strife, so much pain in the world. That’s means there is plenty of work for you to do. Every tiny step receives God’s blessing! How do you get involved in the world? Be a peacemaker!
God’s word will make you pure and holy. But water can’t make you clean until you get in the bathtub. In the same way the word of God can purify your heart but you’ve got to take a bath daily in the water of the word. Blessed are the pure in heart … for they shall see God.
God calls us to follow in his steps. The world may not reward you for showing mercy. Show it anyway. Your friends may take advantage of you. Have mercy anyway. You may be scorned and mocked as a softie. Better that you be thought too soft than to have a hard heart.
So many of us have filled our hearts with the junk food of the world. No wonder we are so unhappy. No wonder we jump from one job to another and from relationship to another. We have full stomachs and empty hearts! Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? If you are, you can be filled. This is the promise of God to hungry hearts and thirsty souls.
We have all we need and then some. And a never-ending banquet spread by our heavenly Father in the kingdom. We have the best of both worlds. We are forgotten, yet we reign. We are despised yet blessed. We are reviled yet defended by God. As Christians we have nothing yet possess everything. And the best is yet to come. Do you want to go to heaven? You can, but you must enter through the door marked “meek only.” Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” This is one of the strangest statements in the Bible. It is a paradox and a mystery. “Blessed are those who mourn,” said Jesus. Happy are the sad! What do these strange words mean? Who are the mourners, why are they sad, and how are they comforted?
Some of us have worked all week for the approval of men and we still don’t have it. And when we get it, we can’t keep it. When will we ever learn that nothing in this world can ever fill the God-shaped hole in our hearts. Only you can satisfy. Empty us, O Lord, so that you can fill us with yourself. Wean us from the things of the world so that your smile will be the only thing that matters. Build the character of the kingdom in us so that you can call us Blessed and we may hear the applause of heaven.