We want to be happy, but may find happiness to be elusive even as we pursue what we think will make us happy.

“Jesus was God’s Beatitude—God’s blessing to the weak in a world that admires only the strong.” 

The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber

Dear Congregation,

This Sunday’s focus scripture is Luke 6:17-26. This text is called the Sermon on the Plain because scripture says that Jesus “…came down with them and stood on a level place.” Jesus was not above or apart from his disciples and the great crowd that had gathered to listen to him, and hopefully to be healed by him, but placed himself on the same level. Physically, at least, he was on their level. He stood with them, not above them looking down on them from a superior position.

We all live on the level place of our everyday lives—a level place filled with mundane routine, worry, sadness, sickness, grief, boredom, anxiety about the future, loneliness, and loss, among other things. We want to be happy, but may find happiness to be elusive even as we pursue what we think will make us happy. And Jesus knows all this, and so speaks words of blessing and woe to guide us in the living of these precious lives we have been given. Words which, if we are open to the radical reorganization of our lives that response to them requires, will bring blessing to ourselves and many others.

I invite you to be present in worship Sunday as we take an hour out of our week to think more deeply on things that are of eternal importance. Jesus’ words challenge us to look at the world in a different way. He promises that the day will come when the poor, the hungry, the sad, and the excluded will find joy. On the other hand, the rich, the full, and the laughing will experience woe. Things won’t always be the way they are now. That’s good news for some, and not so good news for others.

And so it seems to me that our task is to spend the coin of our lives in helping to level things out—feeding the hungry, working so the poor have the necessities to live, comforting the sad, and including everyone. Then we ourselves will be a living blessing,

God Bless You,

Pastor Candy Thomas
Interim Pastor
Christ Congregational United Church of Christ