Oh, sweet branches
how I wish I could keep
your gorgeous autumn
leaves hanging on forever
it pains me to
know I cannot control
when they will fall or
where they might blow in the wind.
There’s no way to
know if they’ll blow across
the fields, into the river,
or catch a whirl skyward.
Standing on the
edge of nowhere reaching
for force of full moon
I feel part of a larger
small yet very alive
even as cold gust pierces
through this olive-green fleece jacket.
I cannot hold
onto this season of
my life forever
but trust that none will
walk alone ever.
Matthew 5:1-12—The Beatitudes
When Jesus 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.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
This Sunday we will be celebrating All Saints Day! With glorious fanfare we will celebrate the lives of those whose souls have left their earthly bodies and joined the company of saints in heaven. I dare say that even with the uplifting brass, choir, and bells, there will be some tears shed as the names are read and we remember them.
We can see in Jesus’ nine Beatitudes that we are blessed throughout our lives. The first four remind us to
fully experience mourning as a gift when we wrapped in God’s love
move towards being meek through prayer (dependent upon strength given by God) and
have a passion for justice.
Then, grounded in faith, Jesus says that we will be blessed and experience God’s favor when we perform acts of mercy, peace, and justice with pure hearts, always thinking primarily of how we can serve our neighbor out of the love in our hearts.
This week, see how the Beatitudes challenge us you and also bring comfort and strength as followers of Christ. How is it that you remain pure in heart and claim the name of peacemaker?
May God bless you and keep you forever more,
Rev. Marta Wheeler