The beatitudes of Jesus are not pious hopes of what shall be.

They are not glowing, vague prophecies of some future utopia/bliss.

They are congratulations on what is.

If we embrace them, if we live into them, it is then that we can fully experience the Kingdom of Heaven.

Remember, they each start with, “Blessed are they,” and “blessed” translates to “Oh the joy” or the word “Happy.”

It’s more than just an “oh, that’s nice” kind of blessing.

It’s an earth-shaking joy.

“A joy that has its secret within itself is self-contained.

A joy that is serene and untouchable.

A joy that is completely independent of all the things we face in life. The chances and the changes that impact us every day.

This is a joy that sees us through our pain.

A joy in which sorrow, loss, pain, and grief are powerless.

A joy that shines through our tears.

Nothing in life or death can take away.” -William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew

This is the upside-down nature of Jesus and the Gospel. But it is this upside-down gospel that changed the world.

Hold space and open your mind to how congratulations and joy can be something other than “perfect news!”

This will lead us into the ways of Jesus.

This ushers in the Kingdom of God.

Can you feel it?

Grace and Peace,