The Revs. Smiths’ Message for March 7, 2021

Dear Friends,

Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.

Luke 6:20–21
“The Sermon of the Beatitudes” (1886-96) by French artist James Tissot (1836–1902); from the collection of Brooklyn Museum; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A woman tells the story of when her family moved to a new town when she was 12 years old. At her new school, she approached a group of girls from her class at lunchtime to see if she could join them. They conferred in a huddle for a moment, then one reported, “Unanimously, no.” This woman survived that rejection, and came to find strength in her place of brokenness, but the wound was one that would never leave her.

God calls us in the church to make it a place of unconditional acceptance; where, no matter how often you have been knocked down, you will find a place; where, no matter how often you have been rejected, you will be embraced and loved; where no matter how often you have been told you’re no good, you are accepted and valued. It is all grounded in the love of God for us, a love we are called to share freely.

It is about building the reign of God — that place where the rules are different. Here the foolish are wise, the weak are strong, the lowly are lifted up, and everyone has a place.

Thanks be to God.

In Christ,

Revs. Bob and Helen Smith

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, March 6, 2021, edition of Tidbits.