Memory Mondays are still happening. This week we finish up memorizing the Beatitudes. Here are the first ones we have already learned. (New American Standard Bible)
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blesed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The last one is a long one.
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This seems like a lot to memorize. I find myself mixing them up - taking part of one and part of another and putting them together.
But it's good to learn these verses. When the crowds heard these words of Jesus they were a strange concept to them. I've mentioned before how they are strange ideas to modern Americans too. Gentleness and mercy are not qualities that are valued by our society.
We hear things more like these.
"Stand up for your rights."
"Don't let them get away with that."
"He was weak. He deserved what he got."
When was the last time you heard someone say they longed to have a pure heart or that they hungered for righteousness? You won't sell much advertising on a TV show that shows people longing for pure hearts.
Can you imagine a "reality TV" show that celebrated the virtues listed in the Beatitudes?
What changes will you have to make in YOUR life to live a life marked by these words of Christ? What TV programs do you need to give up? What video games will you not play? Where will you become a peacemaker? Where and to whom do you need to show gentleness? (This is not an exhuastive list. This is just to get you thinking.)
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment if you like.