Accepting One Another

April Theme: 3rd Principle

April Theme: 3rd Principal, Accepting One Another

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 5

 

In this time of spring and Easter, let us consider the powerful words of the Beatitudes, which are printed below.  These are words that call us to humility, integrity and faith.

The ways of Spirit are different from the ways of the world; in Spirit, the quietest, lowest, most reviled for righteousness, humble, most merciful and peaceful are granted the rewards for living a life of integrity.

These are rarely the people rewarded by the world. These are people who ask for no recognition and who do what is right even if it is at great personal cost.

The Beatitudes open the Sermon on the Mount, a cluster of parables and sayings which most profoundly outline the difficulty of living a life of love and compassion, instead of one based upon the values of the world, such as wealth, materialism, and brutality or violence through war and bondage.

For me, they also echo the values of Taoism which ask us to be quiet, listen and flow like water through the low places.

Unitarian Universalists sometimes get stuck troubling over the dogma, creeds and stories of Christianity.  The question for us, as a colleague of mine notes, is whether the story of Easter is about the messenger or the message?

And although it is clearly about both, all of my life, I have thought that the heart of the story is the message: a story of Love for all people, excluding no one, including all the people Jesus spoke with and spent his time with, counter to his culture: children, women, prostitutes, lepers, the mentally ill, people of different religions, the poor and outcast.

Our UU theologies of the unity of all and universal love echoes this story. It has been the passion of our leaders over the centuries to bring the message of Jesus to life.

May your heart be touched with contemplation and blessing this season.

The Beatitudes:

Blessed are the poor in spirit,

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,

For they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,

For they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst

For righteousness,

For they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,

For they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure at heart,

For they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

For they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted

For the sake of righteousness,

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

And 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.

In Peace,
Rev. Jann