Memorize Monday: Blessings and Warnings

The Exercise:

Memorize Luke 6:20-26:

20Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.24“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.25“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. 26“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.” (NRSV)

The Why:

If this passage looks familiar, it is.  Luke 6:20-26 begins Jesus “Sermon on the Plain” which is a kind of abbreviated  and some would say more radical, version of the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7.

It is helpful to know both versions of the Beatitudes to help us understand the meaning of Jesus’s teaching.  Unlike Matthew, Luke also includes a series of warnings to those who will not find the Kingdom of God a welcome place.  These are as a good source of meditation, particularly for those of us who find ourselves well off according the our society’s standards.

About Ragan Sutterfield

Ragan Sutterfield is a writer and Episcopal seminarian sojourning from his native Arkansas in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the author of This is My Body: From Obesity to Ironman, My Journey Into the True Meaning of Flesh, Spirit, and Deeper Faith (Convergent/Random House 2015).