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A Beatitude Dream

I have a dream that the poor in Spirit shall be blessed.

I have a dream that when the Church says welcome,

It reverberates to all the souls, which surround,

Where the church is like an epicenter of ripples in a lake,

Sending out its waves, and then realizing,

Through the power of the Holy Spirit,

the presence of God with us,

That the ripples become a tsunami in a bay,

Washing over all people, all land,

Reaching past the banks, to those who built their homes far up the mountainside,

Away from the water, yet never too far to be reached.

So all are washed by the water.

And walls, fences, and gates are washed away too.

Those things which separate, fade from view and become relics of detritus on the shore.

Debris that we look at and say, “remember when we used to be divided?”

By skin, by language, by politics…

By illness and differences,

By religion…

By financial status,

And divided especially by our own fears.

And remember how the flood of 2019 washed it all away?

How we came limping, wounded, carrying one another.

discovering we are all poor in spirit.

And knowing that it is good.

For ours is the kingdom of heaven.

I have a dream that those who mourn will be blessed.

For crying and weeping to no longer be called weakness,

but strength.

For the Legends and myths tell of tears bringing life.

As do our prophets:

Jeremiah who weeps a fountain of tears to heal his nation,

The Psalmists’ whose tears become food day and night for a soul that is aching

Job’s righteousness - found in his weeping for the struggle of others

And outside the tomb of his friend, Jesus – the one who authors life – stands and weeps

For in a place where there is weeping, and no judgment,

There also is God’s healing.

There is a time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance (Eccl. 3:4)

There are many things I hope are said of us in this church,

May one of them be: this is a people who weep….

And sometimes they laugh & dance

And I pray our message will be different from the psychiatrists diagnostic manual,

For grief is not carried two months, but for life.

Wounds come, time, and time again,

And the weapons that wound us become lodged in our skin,

And Jesus doesn’t say, “Let it go,”

Rather, “I won’t let you go.”

So I dream we can all be like Iron Man…

With metal close to our heart that could kill us,

But instead becomes the source of our strength.

Blessed are those who mourn.

I have a dream that the meek are blessed, and inheriting the earth.

Power wasn’t Jesus’ way.

His name was hardly a blip on the great annals of history,

And yet, at the name of Jesus, people don’t just bow, they stand up made new.

And that is different from any other power on this earth that makes people bow,

from the weight of oppression, or our own shame.

Blessed are the meek;

How we need this message weekly, daily, hourly,

Because it looks like the power hungry and blood-thirsty are inheriting the earth:

Creating divides, blowing up what is beautiful, and multiplying the trash heaps.

Remind us again Lord that the healers, the builders, the artists, and the recyclers are inheriting the earth.

So may power become mara – bitter to taste,

as we hunger and thirst instead for righteousness.

Such a hunger and thirst already exists here, among us -

What we really need, Lord, is the knowledge of how to fill it.

What exactly around us needs to be made right?

I know there is loneliness,

And I wish the threads on social media were less about petty theft and dog leashes, and more about getting together, and strengthening community.

I am grateful for all those who work in the background, making such things happening,

Like the women’s group and the HUB,

And all the neighbours who help neighbours.

May we see the blessing of being merciful.

Forgive us,

As we forgive others,

Even those who don’t deserve it.

I continue to dream, as I did last Epiphany, that relationships can be made right.

For myself and for others.

I continue to dream of forgiveness, and the right ways of treating others,

so that we also have less need forgiveness.

Lord, would you root out our broken ways of thinking,

False narratives, and guide us into truth –

And because some of the truth may be ugly, guide us also into grace, I pray.

I have a dream that we can be a people who take the first step.

Making resolutions to write letters and Facebook posts of mercy,

To family, to friends or enemies, sometimes one in the same,

To teachers or principles,

Or to leaders and Presidents

May the church be a model of mercy, inspiring others to the same.

I would like to dream that the pure in heart are blessed,

But that dream is cloudy for me.

We work and we act from mixed motives, individually and as a church –

Some good, some less so,

The best I can dream comes from the philosopher Kierkegaard,

Who calls God the “one thing” and offers this prayer:

So may you give To the intellect, wisdom to comprehend that one thing To the heart, sincerity to receive this and this only To the will, purity that wills only one thing In prosperity, may you grant perseverance to will one thing Amid distraction, collectedness to will one thing In suffering, patience to will one thing.

So I pray our scattered egos may focus into willing the one thing.

I have a dream that we are peacemakers and blessing the world.

Forgive me Lord, for in my anger, I want to hurt others.

I want them to feel the pain they have put me through.

Sometimes it feels like it takes too much effort to be the peacemaker,

Sometimes, it seems like it isn’t worth it.

So may we look to the cross and be reminded,

Yes, there is a cost for peacemaking,

And yes, it is worth it.

And I have a dream that our approach to peace, righteousness, and mercy is so radical,

That it gets noticed.

And that people who have dismissed the church as irrelevant take another look,

And those whose power and investments are threatened by peace, love, joy, and hope…

Also take note.

May those who tout social norms become indignant with how much we weep & laugh,

May the world be offended by how kind we are, how merciful & nonviolent,

May money-first corporations become threatened by our care for the earth we inherit,

For whenever the power structures of the day come up against the church,

Then we are being the church of Jesus Christ.

Blessed we shall be when we are persecuted for righteousness sake.

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