In his book, The Ladder of the Beatitudes, Jim Forest makes a terrific recommendation: use The Beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew 5:1-12) as a set of questions for self reflection. Think about the possibilities for using them to prepare for prayer or worship or the start/end of the day. This kind of reflection provides a framework for discovering our next steps in more fully following Christ.
So, here are the questions which came to mind for me.
What questions do The Beatitudes stir in you? – Lisa <><
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
- Am I still trying to save myself or am I completely depending on God’s love, mercy and grace?
Blessed are those who Mourn
- Do I mourn my destructive thoughts and actions, my sin, my brokenness?
- Am I heartbroken over the brokenness of my community and world?
Blessed are the Meek
- Do I think too lowly or highly of my gifts, talents and strengths?
- Have I places my gifts, talents and strengths fully under the authority and discipline of God that they may be used by God for a greater good?
Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
- Am I doing all I can to build right relationships with God, others, myself, and the rest of creation?
- Are other appetites taking first place in my life?
Blessed are the Merciful
- Have I forgiven those who have done me harm?
- Do I need to ask anyone for forgiveness?
- Have I rejected revenge and bitterness fully?
Blessed are the Pure in Heart
- Who or what rules my motivation and desire? God? Others? An addiction? Myself?
- How am I cooperating with the Holy Spirit in the development of an undivided heart?
Blessed are the Peacemakers
- How am I building bridges and breaking down dividing walls in Jesus’ Name?
- How can I more fully abandon violence, prejudice, bias, and hate?
Blessed are the Persecuted
- How am I loving my enemies and praying for them?
- Am I living and practicing my faith in gracious ways everywhere I go or am I hiding it as a way of protecting myself?
Click here for a meaningful and deep sermon on the Beatitudes by Nadia Bolz Webber entitled Some Modern Beatitudes.
Click here for an interesting perspective on the Beatitudes by Richard Rohr entitled How to Win by Losing. Rohr encourages us to read the Beatitudes from the perspective of how they describe Jesus as the suffering servant.
Click here for a post by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled More Beatitudes. He used Jesus’ Beatitudes as a starting point for writing a few more reflecting modern issues. Consider trying this exercise as well.
You are welcome to use this work in a worship or group setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.
For more information on the of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.