Matthew 5:1-11 (New Standard Revised Version)

The Beatitudes

5 When Jesus[a] saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely[b] on my account.

Some Thoughts on Today’s Reading—Pastor Pam

The Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew are at the heart of what it means to follow Christ’s ways. His words speak to each one of us and link us to one another. He spoke these words to crowds who came to hear him, to be healed, to cope with the rigors of life, to be transformed in this gospel of hope.

Our September 29 Worship Service will recall the crowds who flocked to rural communities during the Early American era of the Circuit Riders and Camp Meetings.

Here, in the Pacific Northwest, itinerant preachers traveled the circuit of communities they were assigned to by the then early Methodist Church. They preached and baptized and spoke scripture to families who came to hear God’s word.

For those living in the often-dangerous wilderness, the gospel provided hope as well as Christian ways to live together.

This gospel speaks of suffering, hunger and thirst, peacemaking and persecution. Preached in a backdrop of diverse people living together, as well as the ever-sad truth of the indigenous people and enslaved who were harmed by it all, the gospel held message for those who listened.

Who were the men and women who traveled by horse and foot, carriage and boat to bring the gospel? How were they able to inspire as well as endure the harsh work life they endured? Theirs was a time of Great Awakening when coming to worship moved people to set everything aside to pray and consider their souls as they built churches that stand today.

 Peace and Grace,

Pastor Pam