I love the Beatitudes. I love them because they’re rich and thought-provoking and surprising. I love them because they have the aroma of wisdom, whether my heart recognizes it or not.
When I was 16, my friend David accidentally introduced me to the Beatitudes when he told me to listen to the beginning of Rush’s “Temple of Syrinx” on his truck’s in-dash eight-track tape player. I thought it was cool that the girl who was singing would begin a song with “And the meek shall inherit the earth”. Once I graduated from my teenage years, I learned that this line was from Matthew 5. I also learned that the girl who sang it was a guy.
So with high regard for that Canadian power trio, and with higher regard for Matthew the Tax Collector, I’ve written some beatitudes of my own.
I’m writing these toward anyone who has a Kingdom influence over a group of people.
For pastors and bloggers and worship leaders and authors and small group leaders and keynote speakers and breakout speakers and filmmakers. If you have any influence among any group, then I’m writing these beatitudes with you in mind. Each of my beatitudes is part encouragement, part blessing, and part plea.
As you read them, I hope you’re encouraged to be more fully human, knowing that the Divine life of Christ already indwells you richly.
Blessed are you when you give a voice to deep questions where any answer seems hidden, for your flock needs your honesty more than they need your answers.
Blessed are you when you speak not just your truth, but His truth, for there is freedom waiting for those who receive it.
Blessed are you who write words from the weariness of your own souls, for in your words that feel like death, you offer readers a taste of authentic life.
Blessed are you when you refuse to take the bait of becoming a pulpit actor, for your authenticity and vulnerability will not soon leave the hearts of your hearers.
Blessed are you when the Gospel strips you bare, for this is the only way it can clothe you again.
Blessed are you when you become less concerned with conjuring up God in your weekly gatherings, and more concerned with pointing to the God who is already fully present; for in this, people are given the only Vision they truly need.
Blessed are you when you serve those who should be serving you, for the heart of Christ is experienced in the water that pours over their unwashed feet.
Blessed are you when you pen words of grace for normal people, for you will then discover how poor and bare and naked and heavy-laden they truly are.
Blessed are you when you discover how poor and bare and naked and heavy-laden you truly are, because those admitted spaces provide fuel for grace and peace to burn brightly.
Blessed are you when you rise up and act upon the God-stirrings that won’t leave your heart, for your actions hang flesh onto a God who is spirit.
And finally, blessed are you when you love and allow yourself to be loved, for this is the only thing that changes even the most calloused heart.
I pray that you go and become as fully human as you can become, embracing all the intricacies that make your personality your personality. The very best thing you can give the people in your care is the in-process version of you. And when you openly offer them this flawed and intimate weakness, God will show His strength in ways you’ve never dreamed of.