17Jesus came down with the twelve and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
20Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the dominion of God.
21“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son-of-Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
24“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
25“Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”
Jesus helps us to re-orient our vision to see the world with new eyes. To see that in the Kingdom of God all are worthy of blessings. We are invited to join Jesus on the mission to bless the world – or impart God’s love to others. Today is all about sharing that love in our congregation and in our community. Today we make this teaching real, by creating tangible ways to bless others.
Blessed are you who see the poor and the hungry, blessed are you who sit with the grieving and fight for equality for the marginalized. Blessed are you when we take steps to end injustice and persecution. Blessed are you when you lay down your own interests for the sake of others. This is holy work that we do, together in Christian community to show the world what the love of God really looks like – a level plane where deeds of power and grace are available to all. This is what kingdom living is like – where ALL might know and experience the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.