Celebration of Life


Lent 6-7


What is the one thing we hope to have in each day?  Happiness and/or Goodness, right?  We are just a week into this new series but I am still getting a few queries as to why the Beatitudes for the basis of a series.   The Beatitudes are really about happiness.  It may seem like they aren’t but perhaps if you think that, you are looking at them through a really small lens.


“The Beatitudes come with the potential for reward for any human being willing to give enough focus to come to some understanding of what they have to say. I believe The Beatitudes have particular value today, no matter what your religious affiliation, because they teach empathy and allow you to consider what it might be like to be in a position of weakness.”  Brandon Monk wrote this in an essay comparing the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes.  I do not seek to compare the two great religious tenets but I do think his viewpoint on the beatitudes bears some consideration.


IF we are to truly and sincerely examine our lives we will find cause for celebration, even in the midst of turmoil and pain.  The Beatitudes were part of a speech given by a man known as Jesus of Nazareth.  The speech is more commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount and stories about it include the feeding of hundreds with barely enough food for ten. 


Again quoting Brandon Monk, we need to remember the meaning of our own lives and not judge them on one hour or one day of misery or dissatisfaction.  “The Beatitudes … are inspirational. For example, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.” The language here offers incentive, in this case your “fill” in exchange for your effort in seeking justice. As one can see in the language of The Beatitudes, there is an emphasis on good acts. Let’s look at another example: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.” The Beatitudes often dangle the “carrot” in front of the reader instead of threatening the whip. In this case the “carrot” is “the land.” The Beatitudes reflect on the state of the human being in his human condition, with human condition consisting of suffering, inequity, and injustice.”


Life is messy.  I have said it before and will say it again because it is true.  And yet, even in the messiness, we have reason for celebration.  The other day I spilled some milk.  While I was not happy to have spilled it, I was grateful I had milk to spill.  Fortunately the amount was minimal and I had several things with which to clean the mess.


When we allow ourselves to utilize what we have at hand, including our religion and spirituality, we also can clean up our lives.  The Beatitudes encourage us to celebrate life and to realize the goodness in our own lives.  That is why I celebrate today and while it will not be perfect, I am perfectly blessed by having today to live.


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