You’ve heard of the Beatitudes, right? Maybe not, but you’ve probably heard the proverb-like statements which are called Beatitudes. In the Gospel of Mathew, Jesus gives eight beatitudes in his Sermon on the Mount. In a series of poetic parallels, they are:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
And here’s a selection of beatitudes by the astonishingly different Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber:
Blessed are the agnostics. Blessed are they who doubt. Those who aren’t sure, who can still be surprised.
Blessed are they who are spiritually impoverished and therefore not so certain about everything that they no longer take in new information.
Blessed are those who have nothing to offer. Blessed are they for whom nothing seems to be working.
Blessed are the pre-schoolers who cut in line at communion.
Blessed are the poor in spirit. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are they for whom death is not an abstraction. |Blessed are they who have buried their loved ones, for whom tears are as real as an ocean.
Blessed are they who have loved enough to know what loss feels like.
Blessed are the mothers of the miscarried.
Blessed are they who don’t have the luxury of taking things for granted any more.
Blessed are they who can’t fall apart because they have to keep it together for everyone else.
Blessed are the motherless, the alone, the ones from whom so much has been taken.
Blessed are those who “still aren’t over it yet.”
Blessed are they who laughed again when for so long they thought they never would. Blessed are those who mourn.
You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.
Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. She gave her farewell address to her congregation on July 8, 2018. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People (Convergent, 2015) and the New York Times bestselling theological memoir, Pastrix: the Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint (Jericho, 2013), among other books.