Pastor John's Daily Briefing - 4/17/2020

Pastor John's Daily Briefing - 4/17/2020

Dear Children of God in Christ Jesus,


Here is the greeting that Paul shared with the Galatian Church: Brace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever . Amen."


I hope and pray that all are doing well, safe and healthy. Keep steadfast in faith.


Today, I'd like to take a look at Jesus' beatitudes that are found at the beginning of his "Sermon on the Mount" found in Matthew 5. Here Jesus speaks to the blessings poured out by God upon those of particular characteristics. I particularly want to take a closer look at 2 of the beatitudes found in MT 5:4 and 5:7. In 5:4 Jesus says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Gripped in the midst of this viral pandemic, the whole world finds itself in a place of mourning; a time of mourning about death, about separation and isolation, about the fears and uncertainties of what lies ahead, about a future that will look far different than what we have previously experienced. From Jesus' perspective, even as we mourn, we are to believe and understand that at the same time, we are the recipients of God's blessing, and because we are blessed, we have the assurance that we will reach a place of comfort. Our mourning as well as our blessing are connected to the certainty of God's promise of comfort. God responds to our concerns with compassion and care.


In MT 5:7, Jesus says, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy." I'm sure that all of us have heard and witnessed those who have acted with mercy in our current situation, those who extend mercy in the form of medical assistance, lending a helping hand, reaching out to the home bound, giving generously and sharing resources with and for others in need.Jesus holds us as his followers to this: mercy shared, mercy received. Mercy seeks no other reward than the act of mercy itself. Countless thousands upon thousands fit this category, and for that we are abundantly blessed.


Jesus counsels, "Ask and it will be given; search, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you."


Blessings and peace to all in the name of Christ Jesus. Pastor John