Monday, February 21, 2011

A Heap of Blessings

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:2-12

We got back after visiting with my mother in Cape May Point to find a fresh fall of snow - another five or six inches on the ground. Here it is February, and we are approaching record breaking snow fall and there is still more winter to come. People complain openly these days about being sick of winter. It grates on the heart and soul all this cold and all this snow. And yet as kids we couldn't get enough and we invoked every incantation possible to be covered in snow and kept home from school. It was the ultimate sky blessing and a beloved play medium, to sled and jump in, and have epic snow battles with laughter all around.

Jesus is speaking to a crowd of folks who have faced hard seasons and hard life times. They are faithful loving people who have been dealt heavy blows and carried great burdens. And to us and all of them he reminds of the great blessings we are from God, that God with us is turning even the worst burdens, the highest penalties, the most rank abuse into blessings. Well deserved blessings, the signs of the love of God.

As the day ends and we prepare for a challenging week, I am reminded that we are blessed at all times by God who loves us more than we could ever imagine. As we face huge hurdles and big changes may we all remember that God is always pouring out blessing upon us, even when are scared and broken, eyes full of tears and sighing too deep for words. May we all remember that God is bringing us joy and the laughter of children directly into our hearts.

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