Blessed are You

by Rev. Dr. Christy Gunter Sim

Croatia Opatija Women with Dove
Croatia Opatija Women with Dove, from Wikimedia Commons, Attribution: Berthold Werner

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Blessed are you when you’ve got nothing left to give, when you are overworked, overwhelmed, or a single parent, trying to manage it all to make ends meet.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Blessed are you when you cry out in agony because you were abandoned and left without relational connection in the way you desire.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Blessed are you when you’re asked to quiet yourself and push yourself down, forced to be less than you really are, in order to survive.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Blessed are you when you are starving for people to notice you’re in the right and just, not the one to be painted in the wrong.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

Blessed are you when you reach out in mercy to those who harmed you and who don’t deserve your grace.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Blessed are you when you search your heart and do the most loving thing even when it causes you pain.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

Blessed are you when you sit down to communion with the people who harmed you even when it’s the hardest thing to do.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Blessed are you when you are treated unfairly on the basis of race or gender or sexuality or any other thing that makes you, you. Blessed are you when you make less and get less, and have to fight all that much harder to thrive.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”

Blessed are you when you’re fired and let go and dishonored falsely. Blessed are you when you gave your all and it still wasn’t good enough. Blessed are you when you’re rejected again and just can’t find your place.

12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

For yours is the honor and greatness, now and beyond. Yours, dear one, is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Note: The Bible verses are from Matthew 5 (ESV)

Rev. Dr. Christy Gunter Sim
Christy graduated from St. Paul’s School of Theology in Kansas with a doctorate in Global Health and Wholeness. Her main area of research was in healing after domestic violence, and her dissertation was titled Body, Theology, and Intimate Partner Violence: Healing Fragmentation through Spiritual Play. She also holds an M.Div. from Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City and is listed in the Scientific Reviewer and Adviser database for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an expert in Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Teen Dating Violence. In June, 2018, she helped organize the "For Such a Time as This Rally," speaking outside the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, encouraging pastors and ministry leaders to respond to domestic violence and sexual assault in trauma-informed and survivor-centered ways. Her new book Survivor Care: What Religious Professionals Need to Know about Healing Traumacame out in spring 2019 (Wesley Foundry Books).

1 COMMENT

  1. What a beautiful recasting of Matthew 5, Christy. I especially like your reimagining of that difficult phrase “blessed are the meek” as “Blessed are you when you’re asked to quiet yourself and push yourself down, forced to be less than you really are, in order to survive.”

    And a powerful graphic to go with it–thank you to CFT’s content manager.

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