Communion Meditation For February 2, 2020
Matthew 5:1-10, 13-14
Sermon on the Mount
Rev. Elizabeth Aguilar
Community Congregational Church
Of Chula Vista, UCC
Don’t you just love the beatitudes? It is some of the most beautiful writings found in the Bible, I think. There is so much to it. We don’t have time to go through each one but I want to re-read it using the version of The Message- as I think it will be made even more clearer to us. Please listen. I invite you to close your eyes if it is easier for you to listen, that way.
Matthew 5:1-10 The Message (MSG)
5 1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
Matthew 5:13-16 The Message (MSG)
13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.
So, which portion spoke to you the most? Was it one of the “you are blessed parts or was it the end when Jesus spoke about being salt-seasoning or when he spoke about “you are here to be light?”
I find it interesting that still early on in his ministry he chose to share these words with His disciples and others who were following him. Think about how humbling it must have been for them to hear these words. Because in essence what Jesus is doing is He is reversing the order of things. He isn’t saying, “blessed are you if you get your own way. Or “blessed are you if you are number one all of the time.” Nor is He saying, you are so worth-less that no matter what you do, you will never shine bright.
No, for that wasn’t the way of Jesus. Instead, Jesus lifts up what is considered to be humble and simple. He says, blessed are those of you who AREN’T number one. Blessed are you who struggle every day- who are hungry for spiritual food, for are grieving, when you cooperate instead of compete…
Jesus spoke plainly and openly, inviting them to His ministry and way of life.
Jesus still speaks that way to us today.
I invite you to close your eyes again. Take a few deep breaths. Now, listen to my question and answer it to yourselves silently. What is Jesus telling YOU today? If you see yourself as a follower of Jesus and Jesus were right here, today. What would he be telling you?
As we approach this communion table, where Jesus is the host. What is it that you feel He is telling you today? Is He encouraging you? Is he letting you know that you are not alone, that you have not been forgotten? Is He telling you that He knows the mess you are in but that He will help you get out of it if you only trust Him some more? Is he letting you know that no matter what illness you or your loved one has that Jesus will provide for your physical needs? Is He telling you that it is indeed sad what is happening in our nation but that all you need to do is speak the truth in love? Is He telling you that no matter how bad you have sinned that if you ask for forgiveness today you will be forgiven? Is He telling you that that is time that you stop hiding behind your arrogance? What is He telling you?