The climb is not real steep,
But it’s rocky and there’s an awareness
that beauty is behind you
What was familiar is now in the rearview mirror ….
Or maybe not.
It is the climb to the Mt. of Beatitudes on the Northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel.
On recent trips, I stood with my back to the lake, folks sitting on rocks under a copse of trees, looking at the waters on which Jesus sailed . . . on which he walked. There is not another lake in all the world I would rather gaze upon.
Imagine that you came out to hear Jesus that day, and he was like no one you had ever heard. His words were life-giving, his manner was gentle yet strong and he seemed to speak right into your very soul. You could have gone home, but instead, you were a climber that day ~ you had to hear more from this man, could he really be the Messiah?
When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. The Beatitudes from The Message
Lord, some of these words seem like they were written to us and for us today.
How timeless is your Word!
O God, that you would bless us indeed . . .
and may that blessing go forth to all we meet, all we encounter.
May we make the name of Jesus great.
Blessed of God, go forth and bless others,