Alternative Opening to Matthew 5

(Some people may be preaching on this text next Sunday)

God saw women, men and children marching all over the world and hoped their mountain-top experience would sit down into new be-ing and new attitudes because beatitudes always turn things upside down from the perspective of the powerful.

And God looked around for some disciples to teach and for the folks who don’t need to worry about lunch but would be willing to share it.

‘Blessed are black lives, for they matter.

‘Blessed are Muslims, for they will hear as-salāmu ʿalaykum from their neighbors.

‘Blessed are new Americans without documents, for they will inherit a path to citizenship.

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for reproductive rights, labor organizing rights, environmental protections, and new practices of policing and criminal justice, for they will find enough energy and encouragement to phone their leaders every day, to make signs, to stand in vigil, and to create new alliances.

‘Blessed are the Water Protectors of Standing Rock and the first graders of Flint Michigan, for they will drink deeply.

‘Blessed are the journalists, for they will speak truth.

‘Blessed are gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans or gender non-conforming people, for they will be called the children of God.

‘Blessed are those whose health care is endangered, whose voting rights are challenged, who are threatened with a wall … for their bandages and ballots and border-crossings will become the priority of God’s people.

‘Blessed are you when people you fear are given cabinet positions and roles of authority and when false news surrounds you. Rejoice and be glad (and maybe just a little bit mad), for this is nothing new for people of faith, and God has always cared for the sparrows’ falling rather than the raptors’ tweet.

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12 Responses to Alternative Opening to Matthew 5

  1. Stephen Price says:

    Thank you Maren. I

  2. Emily Geoghegan says:

    Thank you Maren. Very powerful and needed.

  3. Maren says:

    Thank you both, Stephen and Emily — such very early morning readers.

  4. Jane Fisler Hoffman says:

    Thank you, Maren. Copied and shared on my fb. And will email to my Muslim brother.

  5. Maren says:

    Thank you Jane. I appreciate that.

  6. I am late entering my study today, so I am just now posting to Facebook this fresh look at such familiar Scripture. Thank you, Maren, for a much-needed message.

  7. Maren says:

    You are very welcome, Toni!

  8. Jane Fisler Hoffman says:

    Many likes and several shares from my post, Maren. You gift many with your gifts.

  9. Rev. Merlyn Lawrence says:

    I saw your post on Jane Fisler Hoffman’s facebook page. Thank you for this reflection

  10. Thank you Maren. Our worshipping community begins with a time of centered silence. This past Sunday the silence was broken by my reading this as a litany with one other voice. People found it very powerful and have asked for copies. I will be sure to include you as the author and holder of the copyright as well as encourage people to follow your blog. Thank you for sharing your gifts!

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