1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up a mountain. He sat down and his disciples came to him. 2 He taught them, saying:
3 “Happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
4 “Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad.
5 “Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth.
6 “Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full.
7 “Happy are people who show mercy, because they will receive mercy.
8 “Happy are people who have pure hearts, because they will see God.
9 “Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children.
10 “Happy are people whose lives are harassed because they are righteous, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
11 “Happy are you when people insult you and harass you and speak all kinds of bad and false things about you, all because of me. 12 Be full of joy and be glad, because you have a great reward in heaven. In the same way, people harassed the prophets who came before you.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet. 14 You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.
Listening to God: I desire fellowship with you more than anything else in the universe. You often expect me to bless you most in your abundance. This is not the way I work. When I bless you in your abundance, you tend to forget me in fascination with my gifts. The gifts become an idol and our relationship suffers. It is my way to bless you in your lack, failure and emptiness. This way you don’t forget me, and I can work my will through you in amazing ways. Look for my hand moving in your life when you are feeling lonely incompetent and out of control. Blessed are you when you don’t run away from the means I use to draw you to me.
Journal or lift up your prayers and reflections to God.
*Our season of prayer guide comes from Joan Gray’s book, Sailboat Church: Helping Your Church Rethink Its Mission and Practice.