210313 Marching orders

Text – Matthew 5:3-10:

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.

Lenten Meditation:

The Beatitudes (and the whole Sermon on the Mount) were delivered at the beginning of Jesus’ Ministry. Some scholars call the Sermon the closest thing we get from Jesus to a set of marching orders. His requirements of being his disciple.

Matthew begins this narrative with what we call the “Beatitudes.” These eight statements are more like pronouncements rather than suggestions or commands. For example, “O the blessedness (or happiness) of the poor in spirit.”

The eight statements are described by one scholar as a chain, one statement linked to the next and perhaps causing the next. So one who mourns is one who has recognized his/her failure and sin. Which (next link) causes one to mourn. Which (next link) creates meekness, a kind of restraint toward others.

You can see why the Beatitudes are a fitting text to consider during this time of Lent. These 40 days are purposed for self-reflection and penitence. The mindset of Lent sets a Jesus-follower on the road of all disciples who admit who they are and to becoming pure of heart and working for peace.


O God of Bliss. The God who shows us how to achieve a life that rises above and outside of this dark life. We pray that you excite our hearts to think about the ways we may need to be more submissive to you through mourning for sin and becoming generous with our lives. Please be with us on this road. In Jesus’ name. Amen.