Blessings of Community

Sunday February 2, 2014

By Andrew Bolton, Council of Twelve Apostles

2-2Blessed are the poor in spirit…
Blessed are those who mourn…
Blessed are the meek…
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…
Blessed are the merciful…
Blessed are the pure in heart…
Blessed are the peacemakers…
Blessed are those who are persecuted
for righteousness sake…

—Matthew 5:3–10

This month’s lectionary scriptures study the Sermon on the Mount. These passages inspire and scare me, for they call me to change. Today we look at the prelude to the Sermon on the Mount, the beatitudes. I find it helpful to look at the beatitudes as steps on a ladder, steps of discipleship. Start at the bottom: “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”

We can divide the beatitudes into two groups: The first four are about inner change. The last four are about changing the world. We begin with poverty of spirit, of feeling separate and distant from God. We mourn our sins. We end pride. We hunger to live a right life. We go on to being mature Christians, disciples who have the strength to be merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers. We stand up for righteousness, and for the Worth of All Persons.

The beatitudes show me a path to be salt, light to the world, a city on a hill, Zion.

I am inspired; but can I do it? I ask God for the Spirit’s help to make the journey with others.

Prayer for Peace
Ever-present God, be with us on our inner journey. Help us take comfort in your grace. Help us extend your grace as we journey outward. As we join with your community, help us gather strength to share the peace of Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Peace Action
Community of Christ is called to ministries of peace, reconciliation, and healing of the spirit. PeacePathways is a church-sponsored website sharing peace and justice ministries, resources, and opportunities. Visit and prayerfully discern one ministry that speaks to you or captures your attention. Offer a prayer of blessing on the peace ministry you have selected. Listen quietly to see if God is calling you to added responses to this ministry or another ministry of peace, reconciliation, or healing. If you cannot visit the website, offer a prayer of blessing on all peace ministries.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will take steps and act for peace.


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