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Even in a culture in which the Bible is a dark and unmapped continent to millions of people, if you say “Blessed are …,” someone is likely to add the next few words of the first beatitude, “the poor in spirit.” The words are hard to forget, even if they are not easily understood. Yet, with a heart of desire, all the beatitudes can become engraved in our hearts and applied to our lives.
There are eight beatitudes, if we recognize the last two verses as one, as both describe the suffering often imposed upon those who live the gospel. These eight beatitudes translate into eight facets of discipleship. Yet, in another sense, there is only one beatitude, because all are aspects of life in communion with God. Each of the eight describes aspects of being in the kingdom of God.
Jesus is proclaiming that the life of heaven is to become our way of life, changing the world into the place of love, joy, and peace that God has intended. The eight beatitudes are guideposts for Jesus’ disciples to begin to live by His rule and reign right here and now.
A beatitude is a blessing. It is my prayer that each message will be a blessing to you.
Rev. Ricky Burk