Jesus . . . looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.”
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”
sermons4kids: “Notice that Jesus didn’t say, “Happy are they who have a lot of money” or “Happy are they who have plenty to eat and dine in fancy restaurants.” He didn’t even say, “Happiness is a warm blanket.” What he did say was, “When you follow me, happiness will come. Leap for joy! A great reward awaits you in heaven.””
Collect: O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Reflection: One commentator on Luke 6:17–26 writes, “‘Blessed’ (makarios) does not simply describe a state of happiness or bliss. Rather, it refers in a theological sense to one’s standing before God (Deut. 33:29; Pss. 1:1; 40:4).”* As you reflect on the blessings and woes in Luke’s Gospel and on the use of the word “happy” in Psalm 1:1 and “blessed” in Jeremiah 17:7, how does this meaning of “blessed” or “happy” contrast with contemporary uses of this word, even by some preachers? What is one change you can make in your own life before God that would bring you into closer accord with Jesus’ understanding of blessedness?
Sunday School—9 am on Sunday
Brain Food: Commentary by Trevor Hudson; Reflection from One Little Word website; “The Beatitudes” by Nadia Boltz-Weber; a contemporary interpretation from an unusual priest (don’t click if you might be offended).
From the Pew
A reflection on the Luke scripture for Sunday 2/17/19
For 36 years, I have had this comic strip hanging in my kitchen. The artist, Jeff MacNelly, was a family friend with a wicked sense of humor. He had a messy house in which I babysat his kids. Over the years, I’ve put up this strip in nine kitchens, in three states along the East Coast. It saw our household grow from one to three kids with their seemingly endless parade of friends, homework, toys, books and then later boxes when they moved out. It has seen half a dozen dogs slinking around the kitchen looking for a handout or a friendly scratch. Countless meals, conversations, tears of joy, frustration, sadness, anger and a lot of laughter went on in that kitchen.
This cartoon has always made me smile because it made be feel better about my not so tidy house. We lived fully in those rooms and it showed. But then life is messy. The crowds following Jesus were noisy, dusty and demanding. He had to be getting tired and a little frustrated—not unlike a parent trying to keep a messy household organized. The Beatitudes, when read again through parental eyes, speak to me as words said to a child. If they were hungry, we fed them. If sad, we would dry their tears and try to make them feel better and maybe laugh. And as we read further in Luke 6, we see the admonishment that a child might receive for punishment.
These words come alive to me and I feel comforted. I also know that my messy house is blessed along with every other house whether it be neat, sloppy, or having no walls and a dirt floor. We are all blessed.
Our dynamic duo of Pastor Doug and Chaplain Chris will be your teachers for Sunday. Bring your thoughts! Hope to see you at 9 on Sunday.