Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
As I reflected on this verse, I spent a lot of time considering what this means in our north american, western context where the reality is we really do not experience persecution in the ways our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world experience it. As I reflect on all the Beatitudes and the beautiful life offered by Jesus through living them out, it is hard for me to imagine anyone not being attracted to this kingdom life. And yet, we do experience opposition when trying to promote this kingdom living, even in our culture of ‘religious freedom’. I wonder if we also even experience that opposition within our churches…and within ourselves? I have reflected and been challenged, even as I consider my own life of faith, that often power and privilege is preferred and it is offensive to others and dare I even admit to myself at times, to see this kingdom life of Jesus being lived out. Yet, for those of us seeking to discover the beatitude life that Jesus invites us to, we are given the promise of the kingdom of heaven, our destiny is complete. So to contrast that against any present humiliation, even within the church or ‘religious’ community or the battle we must engage inwardly, we discover that it is so worth it. This ‘beatitude life’ is a life worth living for and a life worth dying for! And it is the life to which I am daily seeking Gods grace to choose and wisdom to live out. The hymn, “A Mighty Fortress” immediately popped into my mind when reflecting on this verse.
I wonder what songs come to your mind as your reflect on this passage? What songs are you singing in your children and family ministries that convey this?
Here is a teaching idea you may consider:
Be sure to follow our Pinterest Board for more ideas!