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UMC General Commission on Religion and Race: Being the “Blessed” Amidst Violence

September 21, 2017

 

Reflection: Being the "Blessed" Amidst Violence

We are witnessing escalating violence in word and deed from brother to brother and sister to sister. And we experience fear and pain. We mourn and sorrow. We wonder if there is hope for righteousness and justice. We question, "Will there be peace among us? When?" In the midst of our questions and uncertainty, we hear the words of Jesus reminding us who we are and what we are about as followers of Christ.

Matthew 5:3-12 (NRSV)

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 receive 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 for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 

Reflection Questions

  1. To be "Blessed" is to be a citizen of God's world, active participant of God's kin-dom where all people regardless of whatever categories we have created are valued. To be "Blessed" is to live a life Jesus exemplified. What is your image of the "Blessed?"
  2. Against the angry shouts of racial slurs and disparaging remarks, what is Jesus saying?
  3. In the midst of the storm we are living in today, how is God calling you to engage as the "Blessed?"
  4. What is one thing you can do today to be one of the "Blessed?"

Prayer

Dear God, Thank you for your Son Jesus Christ who came into our world to be our example of how to be "Blessed." May we live as the "Blessed" so that others may be blessed through us. May we be "Blessed" to continue our struggle for your kin-dom of equity and justice, of grace and mercy, and of peace and love. Grant us the courage to be a non-anxious presence, strong and grounded in our faith in Christ who directs our word and deed. Amen.

Reflection written by Rev. Dr. Grace Pak

Please see more resources for churches from the UMC General Commission on Race and Religion by clicking here.


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