The Beatitudes: God's Kingdom Among Us
Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit
In the midst of everything going on in the world today, we are still called to be citizens of God’s kingdom, marked by the character of Christ as revealed in the Beatitudes. Pastor Justin kicks off our fall series exploring Jesus' Sermon on the Mount by calling us to consider both the comfort and challenge of the Beatitudes, and examining the way God shows a particular care for the poor and poor in spirit.
Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
The Beatitudes is where Jesus describes the lives of those in His Kingdom, and extends an invitation to join this Kingdom. If you have felt the sting of the world – if you’ve been last, been left out, been denied, been grieved, been the victim of violence of any kind or all kinds – this Kingdom is for you! It is especially for you. Jesus in his body, in his life, in his death and in his resurrection created this Kingdom for you. In a year that has felt like one long mourning, Pastor Watson looks at the second Beatitude, and how Jesus is our comfort in the midst of loss and grief.
Blessed Are the Meek
Pastor Andrea Ackermann takes a look at the third Beatitude - "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." In our current order of things, especially in the U.S., we do not revere the meek. We tend to understand meekness as weakness, or lack of will, or a doormat. For us, the meek do not inherit anything because they don’t deserve it. Yet in the reality of God's kingdom, the meek are already promised an inheritance.
Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
Reverend Brandon Wrencher brings us a word on what it means to hunger and thirst for righteousness on both a personal level and for the world. God does not offer us a "half-full justice." Rather, God abundantly provides enough justice for it all.
Blessed Are the Merciful
Guest preacher Reverend Tonetta Landis-Aina explores what it means to be merciful even while we pursue justice, and challenges us to follow the difficult path of mercy with hope.
Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
Pastor Matthew Watson preaches on the sixth Beatitude - "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." He reminds us that Jesus is continually focusing on matters of the heart. What one does is incredibly important. And yet, time and again, Jesus exposes that the motives behind the actions are equally important to explore. Purity of heart, in the Biblical, Beatitudes-sense of the word and meaning involves integrity - a connection between outward action and inward thought. Jesus is warning against a duplicitous way of living and inviting us towards a life that is consistent in thought, word, and deed.
Blessed Are the Peacemakers
Guest preacher Pastora Inés Valasquez-McBryde challenges us to real peacemaking in the Spirit, becoming peacemakers and not peacekeepers, as part of both our spiritual practices and our spiritual identity as children of God.
Blessed are Those Who are Persecuted
In the final sermon of our series on the beatitudes, Pastor Lisa Rodriguez Watson preaches on the tough and timely last beatitude. She answers these questions: What is persecution? What are Jesus’ teachings about how we should treat people who persecute us? Why would Jesus ask us to do such hard things?