Since becoming a follower of Christ when I was six years old, I have been on a life long journey of becoming more like Him. After all, isn't that what you do when you are a follower of something? But this journey has definitely not been an easy one. There are times when I feel like I stick out like a SORE, very sore thumb in this world. And there are times when I feel like I am a Debbie downer to people because of choices I make (for myself) to follow after the example of Jesus. It may not be anything like the suffering felt by the disciples (and others across the world, even today), but I don't think it's easy in any regard. It just looks different for us in America. And if it seems to be easy at any point, then that's usually a signal that I'm not walking in the shadow of Christ.
Let's just say... I have a long way to go.
One of the most interesting teachings of Jesus, to me, are the Beatitudes. Jesus usually made his disciples and followers aware of the troubles that would be coming their way because of Him. But this time he approached it from another direction. Using the word "blessed," (which translates to happy) Jesus repeated some characteristics of those that would be inheriting the kingdom of heaven and called sons of God. I've listened to a few sermons preached on this passage and the question raised is, "Does this mean that these are characteristics of believers?" And from what I read and know of Jesus' teaching, I believe this to be true.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when men reviled 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 so men persecuted the prophets who were before you."
- Jesus, Matthew 5:3-12
So in my journey of following Christ, these Beatitudes have become more and more of an encouragement in my life. Just the other day, I sat down to read over them and the poet inside of me jumped at the realization that... "Hey, there are slant rhymes all throughout this passage!" I wondered if I could put these together in a song, so I got my guitar out and tried. (I may be 8 1/2 months pregnant, but this belly won't get in the way!) I fumbled my way through some different keys, trying to find a good fit and groove - but overall this song was written straight from Scripture. I want to say, "I hope you are blessed by it," but enjoying a song does not seem to be on top of the list of blessings that Jesus encourages. ;)
In any case, I hope this encourages you fellow followers of Christ as you continue on this journey of becoming more like the truly blessed.
These are the Blessed
Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted for they will be comforted
Blessed are the meek for they will inherit Blessed are those who seek and hunger for righteousness these are the blessed
these are the blessed these are the blessed
Blessed are the merciful for they'll receive mercy Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see our God for they will see our God
these are the blessed these are the blessed these are the blessed
To the peacemakers and the persecuted Rejoice, for great is your reward
these are the blessed these are the blessed these are the blessed these are the blessed