July 3, 2016
I was thinking the other day about the holiday…and I thought about the preamble to the Constitution.
The preamble was a document that summed up what a more perfect union would look like, how justice would be established, how a common defense would prepare the way forward to seeking peace at home and abroad, ways through which the general welfare of the people would be promoted, and how the blessing of peace to all people – as well as all people who came after us – would be secured, and the details would be expressed in the larger document that followed. It is fitting that we celebrate such on this day so that we do not forget what our founding fathers outlined as a way of life.
That said, there is another preamble that outlines a way of life, and the documents that follow show in detail what it takes to live that kind of life. This preamble, as I see it, is what we call the Beatitudes in Matthew five, the blessed are’s that Jesus outlined. It’s not just that Jesus called certain people blessed although it is that too, but it’s the lifestyle that Jesus was laying down.
So not only did Jesus lay out the basics for a life following him…but his words and actions gave example after example of what that kind of life would look like. It wasn’t just that Jesus said, “You’ll be blessed if you do what I say,” rather, it was, “Follow me and the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to you.”
Jesus sat down and began to teach…Matthew 5: 1-10
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”