We are Blessed!

Matthew 5, Psalm 78

We are blessed! Shout it outloud!  We are blessed!  How nice to start a Friday knowing God has blessed us! I can just imagine Jesus, standing on top of the “mount”, preaching to a huge crowd who had gathered to hear his word.   Everyone might have been hushed so they could hear his words. People in attendance could have been just like us, those seeking mercy and grace, those seeking knowledge on how to live, and those seeking forgiveness.   Jesus takes the opportunity to teach his disciples and the crowd how to live a faithful life, to be joyful, happy, full of love and wisdom, and how to please God.   The Sermon on the Mount is obviously one of the most famous, impactful sermons Jesus delivered. Honestly, it is one we should hear every week. It just has a calming effect every time I hear it or read it and it is for everyone, no matter what state of mind or condition you are in.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

He blesses those who are humble, those who are being persecuted or bullied, and those who are sad. He brings realism to the message by addressing all types of feelings people of that day may have been experiencing. He had the foresight though to understand these feelings would continue to impact people on earth, just as they do today. I read through these Beatitudes several times and what strikes me is the word “blessed”.   The definition of “blessed”:

1 religion

a :held in reverence :venerated

  • the blessed saints

b :honored in worship :hallowed

  • the blessed Trinity

c :beatific

  • a blessed visitation

2 :of or enjoying happiness; specifically,  Christianity :enjoying the bliss of heaven —used as a title for a beatified person

  • the blessed Virgin Mary

3 :bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune

  • a blessed event

He wants everyone to feel his powerful word. He wants the crowd to feel as if he is reaching out to help each and every one of them. He addresses those who may be struggling with life and reminds them they are blessed.   We are pleasantly reminded of his message of happiness, of being honored, and of having good fortune. Sometimes, when times are a bit tough, I make a little list of my many blessings. It helps put things in perspective and brings me back to center. Maybe it’s a rough patch or some bad news, but the blessings list helps remind me that we are still blessed by God. I think the next time I have a down day or a down week, I will open right to the Beatitudes, for God offers us his blessing. He is here for us.