Sunday favorites

Matthew 5:3-9

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

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

  • Anonymous

    amen

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Classic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EarBucket David Coulter

    I love the Beatitudes so much, but Matthew’s adding “in spirit” to the first one bugs the hell out of me every time I read it. “Jesus couldn’t POSSIBLY have meant the poor are blessed! Better tweak it so everybody understands it’s a metaphor.”

    Thomas backs up Luke’s more difficult reading: Blessed are the poor, period.

  • guest

    I think it was ‘Blessed are the cheesemakers.’

  • Donalbain

    Blessed are the job creators…

  • http://www.facebook.com/EarBucket David Coulter

    For they shall receive a top marginal tax rate cut.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    The Religious Right version -

    Screw the poor, for they are lazy and shiftless.

    Screw those who mourn, I’m just peachy.

    Screw the meek, for they are easy to step on.

    Screw those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for I got mine already.

    Screw the merciful, for they are sissies.

    I’m pure at heart, so that voice telling me ‘greed is good’ is surely God.

    Screw the peacemakers, for blowing up small countries is America’s right.

    —–

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    The Religious Right version -

    Screw the poor, for they are lazy and shiftless.

    Screw those who mourn, I’m just peachy.

    Screw the meek, for they are easy to step on.

    Screw those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for I got mine already.

    Screw the merciful, for they are sissies.

    I’m pure at heart, so that voice telling me ‘greed is good’ is surely God.

    Screw the peacemakers, for blowing up small countries is America’s right.

    —–

  • Amaryllis

    Big wheels roll through fields
    Where sunlight streams
    Meet me in a land of hope and dreams

    This train
    Carries saints and sinners
    This train
    Carries losers and winners
    This Train
    Carries whores and gamblers
    This Train
    Carries lost souls
    This Train
    Dreams will not be thwarted
    This Train
    Faith will be rewarded
    This Train
    Hear the steel wheels singin’
    This Train
    Bells of freedom ringin’
    This Train
    Carries broken-hearted
    This Train
    Thieves and sweet souls departed
    This Train
    Carries fools and kings
    This Train
    All aboard

    (Happy belated birthday, Bruce Springsteen)

  • hapax

    Not to mention the qualifiers “for righteousness” and “in heart.”

    I also rather like (for certain values of “like” which include existential terror) the corresponding “woes” in Luke 6:

     24But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
     25Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
     26Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

    Actually, that entire chapter is pretty much the anti-Tea Party Manifesto.

  • chris the cynic

    A while ago Fred suggested that Nicky Mount-the-Sermon-Was-On should have given his own sermon including the anti-Beatitudes. The commenters wrote multiple versions. (You’ll have to view the source to see them.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/EarBucket David Coulter

    Yes! Over on Reddit/r/Christianity we had quite a debate yesterday about whether Jesus actually meant that stuff or not.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    There’s a more recent one too, here on Patheos.  I forget precisely when it was – it’s been a good few months at least.  Guh wish I could remember the name of the thread >.< No sleep makes for bad memory.

  • chris the cynic

    I have a bizarre urge to make a Twilight version.

    Blessed are the smug, for they will get the girl.
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for blood, for they will have amber eyes.

    That sort of thing.

  • Albanaeon

    Literal metaphors, right?  Or is it metaphorically literal?  I always get confused when RTC’s are doing their gymnastics around these.

  • Anonymous

    These verses make me profoundly uncomfortable. Being a USAmerican, in (what remains of) the middle class, I’m locked out of the first four items. Which, I think, puts a rather serious onus on me to be very serious about the last three. And I am really not sure I’m up to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EarBucket David Coulter

    It’s incredibly hard! It kept people from following Jesus. It runs counter to all of our instincts as human beings that tell us we need to grab as much as we can for ourselves so that someone else doesn’t take it. You might even say that it’s impossible for humans to do. Fortunately, we know someone for whom anything is possible.

    Someday soon, you’ll be dead. Not long after that, everyone who’s ever heard of you will die. All of your possessions will crumble to dust. Whatever it is that you love, you will lose it. When you realize and internalize that, it gets easier to stop being afraid of loss. And if you want to love, first you have to stop being afraid. You have to let fear go and wave goodbye to it, and the only way to do that is to realize that nothing on earth lasts forever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EarBucket David Coulter

    All fear is the fear of loss; fear of losing your possessions, fear of losing other people, fear of losing your own life. This is from the earliest extant Christian sermon outside of the New Testament. 2 Clement 5:3-4:

    But Peter replied to him, “What if the wolves rip apart the sheep?”

    Jesus said to Peter, “After they are dead, the sheep should fear the wolves no longer.”

  • MaryKaye

    Our cultural tendency to deny death certainly doesn’t help.

    One thing weird about the Left Behind crowd is that they think that talk of the End of the World might “wake people up” to the need for spiritual change.  But really, anyone who allows themselves to think about knows that for each of us a personal End of the World–our death–could come at any moment, and *will* come sooner or later.  Anyone who could be reformed by that, it seems to me, already should be.  Anyone who isn’t perturbed by the inevitability of their own death is hardly going to be impressed with a much more hypothetical End of the World.

    I think that modern Christianity could do with a bit more of the medieval Memento Mori stuff–the Dance of the Dead, the brass plaques of skeletons and cadavers, skulls on the bookshelf, all that.  As a Pagan I have done ritual involving actually lying down in a symbolic grave, and I think it gives a valuable and lasting perspective.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EarBucket David Coulter

    I read the other day that in some Western African cultures, you dance on a person’s grave as a sign of respect and honor for their life. I like that a lot.

  • Anonymous

    (I can’t take credit for this, but it’s so nice I wanted to share.)

    Today I have a revelation that will come as a surprise to you. I am Jesus Christ, son of God and saviour of mankind.

    Now some of you will feel the desire to leave or even lynch me for the apparent blasphemy. Others might want to throw yourself to my feet and swear undying devotion. I beg you to hold off any such things until I’m finished with explaining myself.

    The thing is that I don’t think that Jesus Christ is coming back anytime soon. The eternity of creation is an awfully long time and vast place and we have to face that chances are good that none of us will see Him in person before we depart from this life. But fortunately that doesn’t really matter. Because everyone is Jesus. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect anybody to perform heavenly miracles. I do expect you to perform the earthly everyday miracles. You can heal the sick by calling an ambulance for an accident victim. You can feed the poor by buying a sandwich for a homeless guy or giving to a charity that runs a food bank.

    Why should you do that? Because that unfortunate people are of course Jesus. I want you to think: “Dear Scott, Jesus got into a car accident. Quick everybody, get him out of the wreck and call for medical help.” I want you to go: “Holy Heavens, Jesus got beat up by her unfortunately alcoholic Jesus husband. Quick, give Jesus shelter and protection and help Jesus overcome his alcohol problem.” Or even: “Oh no, gay Jesus is getting beat up by a gay basher Jesus. Protect Jesus and teach Jesus the error of his ways.” If you would come to the rescue of your lord and savior, you should come to the rescue of any of your fellow men and women all the same.

  • Anonymous

    Or probably it was: “Blesse are the pissmakers, for they shall nitrate the earth”

  • Anonymous

    Or probably it was: “Blesse are the pissmakers, for they shall nitrate the earth”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Pelikan/100000903137143 Jonathan Pelikan

    Fred, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, were I to ever become a Christian, it’s because you’re the single best envoy of Christ that I have ever seen in my entire life. It’s likely that more people than just me feel the same way, too. You’re a credit to your team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Pelikan/100000903137143 Jonathan Pelikan

    Fred, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, were I to ever become a Christian, it’s because you’re the single best envoy of Christ that I have ever seen in my entire life. It’s likely that more people than just me feel the same way, too. You’re a credit to your team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/l.andrew.spencer Leonard Andrew Spencer

    Conversely, I’ve done yoga and at the end of the session we lie down in what’s called corpse stance before rolling over into a foetal position. It’s not a particularly good memento mori but hey, that’s what you get from a culture that believes in reincarnation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/l.andrew.spencer Leonard Andrew Spencer

    Conversely, I’ve done yoga and at the end of the session we lie down in what’s called corpse stance before rolling over into a foetal position. It’s not a particularly good memento mori but hey, that’s what you get from a culture that believes in reincarnation.


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