The Beatitudes

After you have suffered a little while

After you have suffered a little while. Who are we talking about? And what is a little while? Not to mention, what happens after the suffering? And maybe, what is the suffering? How about why will this suffering take place? But first, where does this even come from?

After you have suffered a little while

Donald Trump or John Lewis – who is poor in spirit?

Donald Trump or John Lewis – who is poor in spirit?  That surely depends on what I mean by spirit.  In one regard, I can think of no one in his position that’s ever had more spirit.  However, in another way, I find spirit pretty much absent.  So which one am I asking about?  Well, this site is about religion, specifically Christianity.  Which “spirit” do you think I’m talking about?

The image at the right kind of gives a clue.

Donald Trump or John Lewis - who is poor in spirit?

120,000 more children will die of malnutrition. Who will mourn?

120,000 more children will die of malnutrition.  Not 120,000 will die.  120,000 additional children will die of severe malnutrition this year, due to the effects of COVID on the food supplies for children around the world. Who will mourn?  Someone once said, “Blessed are those who mourn …”  But who is mourning when they read the headline: “Rising child malnutrition rates to lead to 120,000 excess deaths during pandemic”?  Even more than that, who is doing something about it?

Not “just” donating money, although money is needed and is important.  My question is, who is in a position of power that has the ability to do something about the root cause of this?  And what are they doing?  Even more to the point, my question is for Christians in those positions do do something, and yet do nothing.  Where are you?  Are you mourning?

120,000 more children will die

Blessed are those who are persecuted

Blessed are those who are persecuted.  Huh?  Persecuted for what?  And why?  Why is it a blessing to be persecuted?  And what is the blessing that’s received?  If you don’t know what this is about, it probably sounds like someone’s really into being dumped on.  But then, if you’re a regular here, you know what this is about.  It’s the conclusion to our series on the  Beatitudes.

Blessed are those who are persecuted

Blessed are the peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers.  But who / what are peacemakers?  Some of you will think of a Colt handgun.  Or a strategic bomber.  Or maybe even an MX Missile.  If you’re Christian, or think you’re Christian, hopefully those aren’t the first things that come to mind.  Why not?  Because Blessed are the peacemakers is something Jesus said.  It’s one of the Beatitudes, from the Sermon on the Mount.

Blessed are the peacemakers

Blessed are the merciful

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  Very much like the golden rule.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Except in this case, the one doing unto us is God.  So if we show mercy to other people, then God will show mercy to us.

Like faith and believing is Jesus, action is an integral part of mercy.  We’ll see that just saying, “God have mercy on you”, isn’t what Jesus is talking about.  Nor is praying for someone and walking away. 
It’s about doing something.  Helping.  kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.

Blessed are the merciful - feeding a tiny kitten

Dragons and the things God has prepared for those who love him

The goal here wasn’t to tell you that toothless will be in Heaven.  And it wasn’t to get you to want to ride around the universe on him.  No, the goal was to get you to think.  Even more so, to dream.  And dream big.  Really big.  And very good.  To get you to realize that no matter how good you may think this life is, the next life will be so much better.  Better than you think.  Better than you can dream about.  And something you really don’t want to miss.

Dragons and the things God has prepared for those who love him

The Lord gives and The Lord takes away

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  It’s a pretty common saying.  It’s most likely to be used when something bad happens.  Like it’s supposed to make people feel better.  And it might actually accomplish that goal – if it was told correctly.  It’s like the old thing about the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  So here’s the truth about the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  It’s true.  However, it’s not the whole truth.  Therefore, it isn’t actually “nothing but the truth”.

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away
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