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. “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
In this passage Jesus is teaching his disciples what their roles are. He is telling them to stir things up, make waves, make people uncomfortable. They will be especially blessed when they are tired and frustrated, scorned and ridiculed, because that means they have been doing their job. They are meant to be the salt that brings wrong-doing to the surface and exposes it. They are to be the light that shines on problems and does not let them hide.
So what are we to do? May we be brave enough to support and help the downtrodden. May we expose and oppose injustice even within the Methodist Church. May we be brave enough to stand up and be counted in support of what is right and in opposition to the wrong or unjust. We may get frustrated and tired, but maybe that is all right. Maybe we will find more support than we ever imagined.
– Submitted by Barbara Barrett