In our Gathering on July 31st, we used the Beatitudes to move us deeper into the Lord’s prayer. The Lord’s prayer is about being formed for life with Jesus, and the Beatitudes are about what life with Jesus looks like. It was a family Sunday, so kids and adults walked through eight stations of the Beatitudes. Each station focused on one of Jesus’ statements from his Sermon on the Mount that began with “Blessed are those who…” The stations guided us through practices to better understand how Jesus works in our world today and through eternity. The blessings Jesus names in this sermon are about what his eternal kingdom will be like, but he is also talking about what his Kingdom on Earth already looks like and the ways it doesn’t look like the world. So after every station, we prayed, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
The Beatitude Prayer Experience showed us what great news Jesus’ sermon is for us. When we find ourselves living through a hard season that embodies one of the Beatitudes, Jesus is in that with us. The blessings of his kingdom are with us and will be with us in eternity. This news also should mobilize us, not to strive toward these qualities, but to move towards the people who embody these things, because God is with these kind of people. In moving toward these people, because God is in that space, we will be participants in the work Jesus is doing and therefore formed by his grace.