An Unlikely Kind of Blessing

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:10-12 Persecution is a prophet’s reward. It’s how people treat those who bear witness to the truth. When you look at the beatitudes as a whole, one thing in particular stands out: the good life which these sayings of Jesus describe is very different from the good life as it’s popularly conceived. In fact, it’s more than different. It is directly contradictory. It’s the exact opposite of what the world considers to be the good life. In …

Peacemaking

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:9 Would you like to be called “a child of God”? Jesus says that the way to earn that title is to become a peacemaker. It’s clear that we live in a world which is not at peace. We’re reminded of this every time we pick up a daily paper and read the headlines or tune into a news broadcast. Historian John Keegan in his book The History of War points out that the story of warfare …

How to See God

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Jesus said if we want to know God, something has to change in us. The Beatitudes are Jesus’ series of blessings that collectively define what it means to be a good person. The sixth one goes like this: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Have you ever noticed that something has happened to God lately? Somehow he seems to have …

Measure for Measure

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:7 The truth is, in life you will get what you ask for, and you are asking for what you are already giving to others. Think about that the next time you’re in a position to show mercy. This message is part of a series on Jesus’ Beatitudes, those blessings that he pronounces in Matthew chapter 5 at the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount. All of them are directed toward those who behave in ways …

The Hunger That Will Always Be Satisfied

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:6 Appetites of various types often create problems for us, but there is one kind of hunger, according to Jesus, that is always good and will always be satisfied. “You are what you eat” goes a familiar saying. It was originally spoken by a German, and it works even better in that language because it makes a pun: Man ist was er isst. In a literal sense we truly are what we eat. That’s been confirmed by …

Who Gets What

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:5 You probably know people who want to be successful, strong, smart or influential. But, have you ever met someone who aspired to meekness? What sort of person comes to mind when you hear the adjective meek? I can’t help but think about Clement Atlee. He was the British politician who had the misfortune to be the political opponent of Winston Churchill. Churchill with his characteristic sharp tongue once described Atlee as “a modest little man with …