November 2020 Pastor's Newsletter
Thank You God Even for Trouble
I'm in the middle of exploring the "Blessed People" found in Matthew. Take a look at who Jesus says are Blessed
of God: Matthew 5:1-12 NIV
5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,
2 and he began to teach them. He said: 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the
earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the
merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are
the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because
of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when people insult you,
persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because
great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
So, who does he say are blessed?
The list looks like this: People who are struggling with spiritual issues, Folks who are dealing with real gut
wrenching grief, those seeking justice and goodness in an evil world, people who the world calls "suckers", those
seeking peace, folks hated because they are right with God, those who are insulted, lied about just because they try to be like Jesus are all blessed. In each case, it is not fun to be Jesus' "Blessed Ones."
So, do you have trouble? Does your faith seem weak? Jesus says hang in there because God Blesses you. Do you see your departed loved one everywhere and is you heart often broken by the memories? You are Blessed! Do people think you are unimportant or fearful? Take note, You Are Blessed. Are you striving to have a pure heart or seeking righteousness in a evil world: maybe you are one who can clam people down or your gift is to confront our society with a message of love that causes others to insult, lie about you and try to destroy you, if so, God Blesses you!
I would go so far as to say the people of Jesus are always misunderstood. So, let's be less like everybody else and more like Jesus. Thanking God for Blessings that arrive from heaven even as we are in trouble, "in good trouble" in order to receive a Blessing from Jesus! I believe this is an image of the church at its best…and we share in many of these blessings and are called to gather more of them. In November 2020, the year of COVID-19, Lake Shore UMC seeks to love as Jesus loves, accepts the cost and finds Blessed life!
God Bless, Carl