On my trip to the Holy Land in January, we spent time at the Church of the Beatitudes on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and walked on the hillside where it’s thought that Jesus taught His Sermon on the Mount. One of the pastors shared that he thought we too often ignore the Beatitudes in church. In Anglican churches around the world, we say the Prayers of the People every Sunday. We pray for our elected leaders, clergy, peace in the world, the sick, those who have died, and other things that are on people’s hearts. He said that periodically he substitutes the Beatitudes for those prayers and people really responded well to the change.
At Trinity we’ve been praying the Beatitudes for awhile and it’s had a profound effect on our members. If the reader isn’t familiar with them, they’re found in Matthew, chapter 5. It reminded me, however, that I once ran across the Beatitudes as written by Satan. So I encourage the reader to do an exercise. First, read Jesus’ Beatitudes in Matthew 5. Then read Satan’s Beatitudes below. Then, re-read Jesus’ Beatitudes.
As Written by Satan
Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow Christians – they are my best workers.
Blessed are those Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked – I can use them.
Blessed are the touchy who stop going to church – they are my missionaries.
Blessed are the trouble makers – they shall be called my favorite children.
Blessed are the complainers – I’m all ears to hear them.
Blessed are those who are bored with the minister’s mannerisms and mistakes – for they get nothing out of his sermons.
Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church – for he is a part of the problem instead of part of the solution.
Blessed are those who gossip – for they shall cause strife and divisions that please me.
Blessed are those who are easily offended – for they will soon get angry and quit. I like that.
Blessed are those who do not give their offering to carry on God’s work – for they are my helpers.
Blessed is he who professes to love God but who hates his brother and sister – for he shall be with me forever.
Blessed are you who, when you read or hear this, think it is about other people and not yourself – I’ve got you in my pocket too.
The Rev. Dale Chrisman, Rector, Trinity Anglican Church, now worshiping in our new church at 18900 FM 1431, five miles from Cedar Park and Leander. www.trinitychurchlagovista.org.