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Have a Blessed Day! Reflections on Matthew 5:1-12

The Be-Happy Attitudes follow:

1) I Need Help—I Can't Do It Alone. Learn two miracle-working statements: "I need help" and "I am sorry."

2) I'm Really Hurting—But I'm Going To Bounce Back. Learn that when bad things happen to good people, they become better people.

3) I'm Going To Remain Cool, Calm, And Corrected. "Blessed are the meek..." is a poor translation. "Meek" in the Bible means: mighty, stable, kind.

4) I Really Want To Do The Right Thing. Learn how to adopt a "Go for it" attitude toward your life and dreams.

5) I'm Going To Treat Others The Way I Want Them To Treat Me. Learn how to heal your hidden wounds, and allow them to turn you into a better person.

6) I've Got To Let The Faith Flow Free Through Me. Learn how to know God better and overcome doubt. Faith makes love a possibility. Love makes miracles happen.

7) I'm Going To Be A Bridge Builder. Learn how to make peace with yourself before becoming a peacemaker for others. Learn how to remain positive and pardon those who persecute you, even when all else fails.

8) I choose to be happy any way!

Positive attitudes are a good thing. We would probably all rather be around positive than negative people. But Jesus' beatitudes are less about insuring individual success and reputation and more about risking it for the sake of his vision of God's kingdom.

They seem not to care about the opinion of others and personal success. Rather, it is our alignment with the values of risky faith, radical mercy, and an active search for justice for the entire community that matters to God.

Jesus was a subversive sage, using existing wisdom genres to present a subversive version of blessedness. When he says to us "Have a blessed day," we'd better not say, "Sorry, but I have other plans!"

1/26/2014 5:00:00 AM
Alyce McKenzie
About Alyce McKenzie
Alyce M. McKenzie is the George W. and Nell Ayers Le Van Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.