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 “Trust the Spirit, SHE is wise” “Trust the Spirit, SHE is wise”

Trust the Spirit, for SHE is WISE
Trust the Spirit, for SHE is WISE
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“Trust the Spirit, SHE is wise”

Posted on Thu, Feb 6, 2014

Matthew 5:1-12

February 2, 2014

4th Sunday in Epiphany

Gospel Text: Matthew 5:1-12 – “Trust the Spirit, SHE is wise”

The Beatitudes

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

3 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5 ‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6 ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

7 ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

8 ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9 ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

 

What does it mean to be “blessed?” Is it different from just being lucky, fortunate, born into the “right” family, or is there more to it? It is easy for me to say that I am “blessed” to live in Hawaii, live in my own home, have plenty of food in our kitchen, I have my health and enjoy being out in nature… These are obvious “blessings,” but what is Jesus talking about when he says,‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Our society certainly wouldn’t agree with this claim.

 

Unlike words like fun, happy, even satisfied, to be blessed indicates that you are in a relationship. You aren’t blessed by something you have done, but you can only become blessed because of the insightfulness, compassion, empathy, love and mercy of someone else. I know I am blessed by this congregation and so many people within this community, because of all the goodness that comes from those relationships; but the relationship that recognizes the blessings has a level beyond those wonderful relationships. To be truly blessed means there is a spiritual element, a holy element, the realization that God was, is and will always be attentive to our prayers and needs. I am blessed by and through you, because God has put each and every one of you into my life. The same goes with you, you too are blessed by this congregation not because of anything you have done, but solely because God knew that you needed to be with each person in this faith community, INCLUDING those you may not agree with on political, relational, social, theological or even personal style and interior decorating issues. Look around the sanctuary and think about our congregational blessing as you look into each person’s face… Every single person in this congregation, many of them you still don’t know their name, are a blessing to you because you are together RIGHT NOW, worshiping God as we should do as God’s Blessed and Redeemed people. This also goes for all the people we see each and everyday in our daily routine… including the people we may see as we drive to work or school each day… Sometimes it is hard to call these people a blessing at all… but Jesus calls you to not only know they are a blessing, but we are called to love them… this requires much faith, only the faith that God could give!

 

Therefore, to “Be Blessed” is to allow the Holy Spirit to enter your heart and allow HER to open your eyes and heart and move you. We begin to open our heart after we confess our sins, HEAR that we are forgiven and believe that this good news is a gift given for the sake of our relationship with our God and Savior.

 

Let’s look at “The Blessed” according to Matthew:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” When we are “poor in spirit,” we feel empty and alone. Jesus sees this and The Spirit comes and fills our emptiness giving us the treasures of heaven itself.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” When we mourn we feel lost and powerless. Jesus the Good shepherd finds us, and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to know that we live with the God of all power, mercy and might.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” It will never be great weapons and political maneuvering that will bring goodness and peace to this earth. It will be compassion, love and mercy. 

6 ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. If you are hungering for what is right and just, this means you are on the right path of faith that opens our eyes, ears and heart that allows us to see and hear God all along this life journey we have been given.

 

The Holy Spirit, She can see our pain, our goals, and our emptiness, and like a rich delicious liquid, she can fill us until we overflow with God’s goodness.

 

Then the tone changes and Jesus says:

7 ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

8 ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9 ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

These are the people who respond to God’s call to do acts of kindness, mercy and justice. They are the ones troubled when they see someone in pain, persecuted or alone and feel they must act. These people are truly blessed because they have allowed the pain and injustices of the world to move their hearts, minds and bodies. They have reacted to the pain that separates us from the love of God.

 

So many times in my life, I have witnessed members of our church respond to the needs of other members, or total strangers, and cared for them, shared a meal, looked after kids, helped them network, purchase things that were needed, befriend or just take time with the person who was hurting. Invariably, sometime during the week, I would get a call from the person who did the care-giving, and they would share with me how much they were blessed just by saying “yes,” to the needs of someone and now THEY FELT LIKE THEY WERE THE ONES WHO WERE BLESSED! It was almost like it was a shock to them that they felt like the most blessed in this difficult situation. Lutheran guilt strikes again!

 

I don’t want to “correct” but I would like to add, “Blessed are the Care-Givers for they will be Jesus for those in pain.” I would like to share with you a letter I received by a Stephen Minister a long time ago. (Read Letter)

 

Luther wisely said, “We are all beggars.”

 

"This alien righteousness (The Gospel we must hear with our ears), instilled in us without our works by grace alone—while the Father, to be sure, inwardly draws us to Christ—is set opposite original sin, likewise alien, which we acquire without our works by birth alone.  Christ daily drives out the old Adam more and more in accordance with the extent to which faith and knowledge of Christ grow."  M. Luther

 

Let the Holy Spirit into your heart in order to open our eyes, hearts and hands, for She is wise and in so doing, our world as well as yourself, you will be blessed. Amen

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