Faith in Action….is Blessed!
† In Jesus Name †
May the grace, mercy and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ open your mind to see how God has, and is, and will bless you! AMEN!
The Shopping List
If you were going to start a new project, part of the process is making sure you have the material you need to complete the project.
Whether it is making a fancy dinner, or building a shed, or, in our case, building the church.
You need to make sure you have everything you need because once you are started, stopping to go get a missing peace slows down the process, and could even require you to start all over.
The reading from the gospel of Matthew this morning provides such a shopping list.
Matthew lays out the kind of people we need to build the Church.
Not just the service in Mandarin, or the service in English, and not even Concordia.
But the Church throughout the world.
These blessed people are the components to the Church, and a church that contains such people very simply grows.
Are we so described?
So if we are going to look at Concordia, as a part of the church, let’s see how we do.
In the English translation we use, the first item is, “those who are poor and realize their need for God.” Do we have such people?
Do we have people that continually see their need for God, and desire to dwell in His presence?
What about people who mourn and grieve.
Not just because we have lost someone, but also because of the brokenness in the world, and in our lives?
Are we all humble? Are we all meek and willing to deal with people in a caring manner, not being competitive or angry?
Do we all hunger and thirst for justice? Real justice, not just justice that favors us?
Do we all show mercy?
And how many of us can say our hearts are pure, that we never ever sin, or even think sinful thoughts? Or who work for peace in every situation?
We could go on and talked about the rest of the checklist, but it looks like we are already falling short of who we need to see the God designed built.
There might be a few people here who meet one of the checkboxes, but none of us meet all of them.
I also am pretty sure that there are some boxes, especially the mercy and pure in heart that has no boxes checked,
We are blessed!
But what if we are looking at the wrong thing to check off? What if, instead of what we are described as, we find the box to check off is the “being blessed”?
As an example, we can find people who are blessed because God has shown them comfort.
We can find people who are blessed because they have been shown mercy,
We can find people who have become pure, because their blessing is having seen, having encountered God.
Now the passage takes on a whole different perspective.
It focuses on the work of God.
It focuses on the blessing.
As we and every person in the church should focus upon.
God’s work, God’s blessing, poured out on us!
Those who are poor and need His presence (all of us!) are blessed
Those who grieve and mourn… are blessed
Those who have nothing, but will inherit everything… are blessed
Those who need and desire justice… are blessed
Those who need mercy… are blessed
We are blessed by God, we know His presence, His comfort, his justice.
The Greatest blessing
You see, that is what makes the Church grow,
It is what will make Concordia, both the multi-cultural ministry in English, the ministry in Mandarin thrive and the Tagalog ministry grow.
It isn’t because of how intelligent, charismatic and good-looking your ministers are.
(And that’s probably a good thing! )
The reason a church grows, or the Church grows, is when it realizes how God has blessed every single one of us.
When we realize we have received mercy, and we are satisfied by God’s justice.
When we realize we will inherit the whole earth, and the Kingdom of God. When we realize we have been comforted, when we realize we shall see God,
These are the blessings poured out on us, even as Jesus was loving us and dying for us on the cross.
Even as our sins were paid for, and cleansed from our souls.
Even as we are given the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternal life in the glory of God.
this is who we are, those who depend on God, and trust in Him, for we know..
We are blessed!