I'm troubled. Truth is, I've been troubled for quite some time. It's a deep soul-wrenching kind of troubled that I keep stuffing down and yet sometimes it becomes too much so it begins to overflow and the only way to let it out is to write about it.
This is one of those moments.
You see, my troubled-ness comes from questioning what the church's role right now is in our deeply divided world. It seems as though anger and hatred for the other have become the two prevalent voices as political divides continue to carve out a deep chasm in our country and it's taken me a while to put it into words until I reread the beatitudes this morning.
There's something about the words of Jesus that bring comfort and hope and reminds us of what truly matters...and that is people.
When we get so caught up in ourselves, whether it's because we feel our rights are being unjustly infringed upon or things seem unfair, we lose sight of the human beings around us.
I ended up re-working the beatitudes to reflect upon some of the messages I keep hearing. I want to challenge the church, the Bride of Christ, to remember who we are, Whose we are, and Who we are reflecting in our actions and words.
If it is not love and light we are reflecting, then we are not fulfilling our role as the image-bearers of Jesus Christ.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven but
those who see themselves as better than others do not understand the heart of the Kingdom of God.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted, but those who refuse to show compassion toward the hurting and downtrodden lack good fruit.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth, but those who forcefully assert their authority over the poor and weak, the oppressed and exploited do not know the heartbeat of Jesus.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled but those who hate and scoff and murder, lie and steal from those unlike themselves have missed the heartbeat message of Jesus.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy but those who show no mercy to those running from war-torn countries, the widow, the orphan, or the slave in the name of Jesus do not understand the heart and soul of God.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will receive mercy, but those who tout their rights and freedoms above others reveal their insecurities.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Children of God, but those who stir up violence and wars show no understanding of Kingdom values.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, but those who persecute individuals or people groups who are different than them do not know the heart-beat of God.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account, but those who claim their actions are of God when their words and actions elevate their own agendas, rights, and selves have missed the very heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ.