And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. Luke 6:20-23
We are gathered in Lake Meier for Diocesan Convention. Our opening Eucharist was a wonderful, joy filled time of worship. Folks have gathered from all over, and greetings of delight and happy conversations shape our lives together. In challenging times with limited resources, I am surrounded by people who know their lives to be blessed and their work holy. There is no whining and reluctance, but rather, hope and prayerfulness in anticipation of their time together and the work God has called us all to do.
Jesus begins his teaching by declaring that those who have challenging times in ministry, those who have been rebuked and mistreated, those who have suffered as they served are numbered among the holy and the blessed. God's mission is not given to the high and mighty but to the lowly and the humble. God has abundant blessings for those who are willing to be poor for others, servant for many and humble in the face of abuse and misunderstanding. God is more ready to shower us with blessing than we are to ask for the blessings.
May today be a day when we are not ashamed to ask for the blessings we need, knowing that God is more ready to supply them than we can even imagine. May our hands and hearts be open to receive so that we might share that abundance with others. May our service be a joy for all we meet today, and may our lives be an invitation to know the presence of the living God.