Ponderings by Doug

Week of November 28, 2022

I hope you gave thanks for all your blessings on Thursday. It is my prayer that in these days of natal preparation you will discover that God has blessed your life. I was thinking about being blessed and my mind wandered to Matthew 5, where Jesus gave a list of those who are blessed. We call that list the beatitudes.

Nadia Bolz-Weber in her book Accidental Saints offers a list of “blessed people” if Jesus were here today to bless them. Some of these blessed folks caused me to ponder them and that is the point.

“Blessed are the agnostics.

Blessed are they who doubt. Those who aren’t sure, who can still be surprised.

Blessed are they who are spiritually impoverished and therefore not so certain about everything that they no longer take in new information.

Blessed are those who have nothing to offer.

Blessed are the preschoolers who cut in line at communion.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

Blessed are they for whom death is not an abstraction.

Blessed are they who have buried their loved ones, for whom tears could fill an ocean. Blessed are they who have loved enough to know what loss feels like.

Blessed are they who don’t have the luxury of taking things for granted anymore.

Blessed are they who can’t fall apart because they have to keep it together for everyone else. Blessed are the motherless, the alone, the ones from whom so much has been taken. Blessed are those who “still aren’t over it yet.”

Blessed are those who mourn. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

Blessed are those who no one else notices. The kids who sit alone at the middle school lunch tables. The laundry guys at the hospital. The night shift workers working while the world sleeps.

Blessed are the forgotten.

Blessed are the unemployed, the unimpressive, and the underrepresented.

Blessed are the teens who have to figure out ways to hide the new cuts on their arms. Blessed are the meek. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

Blessed are the wrongly accused, the ones who never catch a break and the ones for whom life is hard, for Jesus chose to surround himself with people like these.

Blessed are the foster kids and the trophy kids and the special needs kids and every other kid who just wants to feel safe and loved.

Blessed are the burned out social workers and the overworked teachers and the pro bono case takers.

Blessed are the kids who step between the bullies and the weak.

Blessed are they who hear that they are forgiven.

Blessed is everyone who has ever forgiven me when I didn’t deserve it.

Blessed are the merciful, for they totally get it.”

It is a blessed time for soon we tell the story of one who came down to the manger, kept descending to the cross so that He might reach down in the mess of our lives and lift us up.

We are blessed! Could our Christmas calling be to become a vehicle for God’s blessing to those who don’t feel so blessed?