blessed are the…

beatitude-heart

in the spirit of upside-downness & inside outness & the beatitudes & how much i love them, i thought i’d share the closing liturgy that my friend christa & i wrote together for our current sunday evening conversations  focused on the sermon on the mount.  may Jesus’ words sink deeply into our hearts, our hands, our feet, our minds:

blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

God, we need you.

we’re at the end of our rope. we can’t do it.

without you, we’re empty, un-filled.  

God, help us realize how much we need you.

blessed are those who mourn,  for they will be comforted.

sometimes we are afraid to feel, we don’t know what to feel

we’re too tired.  we’re too afraid.  what if it starts & never stops? what if they use it against me?

what if i can’t?  what if i don’t know how?

God, help us learn to feel

blessed are the meek,  for they will inherit the earth.

we want to be the one who isn’t always butting into the front of the line, who isn’t demanding & self-centered.

we want to move more slowly, so that maybe we can see better

we want to be the car that changes lanes letting others merge onto the road.

the one who asks but is willing to wait.

God help us learn what it means to be gentle in a harsh world.

blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,  for they will be filled.

we want to stand up for what is right,

take action for our friends

reach out to those that have been pushed aside and down

be a defense

God help us be bold and advocate for others

 

blessed are the merciful,  for they will be shown mercy.

we want caring hearts. compassionate hearts.

forgiving hearts. soft hearts.

hearts that can hold the breaking heart of another

hearts that offer grace,

hands that offer help

God help us be vessels of mercy and grace

blessed are the pure in heart,  for they will see God.

help our pride erode to humility

peel away our hardness

discard the moldy, unusable pieces

then unveil the deep inside, that which matters most

God remove what’s getting in the way

blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

teach us to forgive

to be healing balm in places of strife.

to lay down our guns & our need to win

to keep walking alongside the prisoners or war when we want to hide behind the barracks

God, help us be known as promoters of peace.

blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

help us remember that you know what it feels like to be misunderstood, mocked, rejected

for we feel like rejects

we have tried to be more like you and we only feel less. and lost.

teach us how to count this as gain when every part of us thinks we’re failing.

God, may their misunderstanding of us mean that we have a better understanding of you.

Jesus, turn us upside down and inside out.  May these ways sink deeply into our hearts, our lives in ways we’d never dreamed.

AMEN.

 

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

12 Comments

  • Does this include kicking *ss and taking names for sisters that are hurt and picked on? You are doing it sweet friend. Beautiful post. It sand deep into my spirit this morining. I wept. I am nothing without him.

    ***help us remember that you know what it feels like to be misunderstood, mocked, rejected

    for we feel like rejects

    we have tried to be more like you and we only feel less. and lost.

    teach us how to count this as gain when every part of us thinks we’re failing.***

    Has been my prayer of late. Hugs!

    Reply
  • Ahhh … to be on the mountainside that day as a new way of living was proclaimmed – the world was never going to be the same. These beatitudes are what Kingdom living is all about.

    Reply
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  • Hurrah! Hurrah! I love this post. My pastor did a series on the Sermon on the Mount this past year. I heard a few of the sermons when I was in New Orleans. This sounds so much like what he talked about. I hope that those sermons changed me, for good. Not just when I heard it and got excited.

    Reply
  • tara – oh i am glad it came at a time you really needed it. been thinking about you from afar…

    amy – yeah, i love old language stuff, too, but there’s something about it being contextualized for now that helps & even especially for our community

    mark – definitely my favorite passage of scripture along with isaiah 61!

    scott, christine, liquid community – thanks for the re-post. i am glad it dripped into a few other places 🙂

    ellen – 🙂

    laurie – i love love love these passages, too, and know that they will need to keep changing me and changing me and changing me. always great to hear from you here. how are things down there???

    Reply
  • Hi Kathy, life is good here in hot and humid Honduras. I want to ask permission to use a tiny paragraph from your post on “Make Advocates Not Buildings.” The paragraph on relationships resonates deeply with me. If I quote it, I will cite your blog. I want people to read the entire post so I thought I’d put a small quote on my blog, which by the way, doesn’t usually get a high volume of readers. Then maybe they will read the entire post. And maybe, minds and hearts may move just a bit towards loving people more than buildings.

    Reply

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