« Introduction - Greatly Honored? | Main | Those who Mourn — Listening to the Global Church »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Debra Circle at First Presbyterian Church of Farmington MI

DEBRA CIRCLE discusses each beatitude, one person takes notes and writes a confession based on the discussion which is approved by the whole circle. Debra circle's first confession follows:
Confessing the Beatitudes Lesson 1: Greatly Honored Are the Poor
We confess that life is not a level playing field (nor is life a game). We confess that we can work together and with God to level the field experiences of life. We confess that there is a stigma to being poor economically and being poor in spirit (such as being mentally ill, or on welfare, living out of one’s car, having to go into bankruptcy, etc.) We confess that we can counter this stigma by being aware that there are poor/destitute in the world at large and in our individual world; and, as we study Jesus’ words in the Beatitudes, we can look for ways to honor them starting with our prayers.
We confess that we are blessed to wake up every morning and enjoy fellowship with family and friends and neighbors. We are blessed to be here and welcome in this church and to be here in the world and feel comfortable. We are thankful for these blessings and amazed by them. We confess that we have experienced being honored when people help us with yard work and by other neighborly deeds. We confess that we need to pass this honor on to others, especially the poor and destitute
We confess we can look for ways to honor the destitute. We have many avenues in our church: Fort Street, SOS, Westminster, Gleaners, Fish, etc.; and as we participate our eyes will be opened and we will see the destitute. We confess we can celebrate the poor who are rich in spirit and pray for the rich who are poor in spirit.
We confess we have worked through our church avenues to serve others and give of our good fortune and we confess there is always more we can find to do if we begin with prayer. We can always give a smile.

Betsy de Queljoe

I wrote a poem about the 1st lesson of the Beatitudes. I read it at our study, and the ladies suggested I put it on here for everyone, so here goes.

To the poor of the earth
the downtrodden, the lost
heaven is yours
whatever the cost.

Woe to YOU, the rich
for you have the most.
Holding tight to your fortunes
when gone, you'll be lost.

Won't you give of your time?
Lend a hand?
Food pantries? Manna House?
where ever you can.

Won't you give of your talents?
Helping at church?
Teaching, Serving,
It doesn't take much.

The least you can do
is help save the earth.
Reuse, Recycle, Renew, Rebirth.

And when the day is done
you'll wonder where the time went
and marvel at how
it didn't cost you a cent!

Betty Eubanks

Some of the ladies in my church have been discussing how we can best help a young newly-wed couple in our church who are so impoverished they had to sell his guitar to have money for rent deposit. They are working/looking for work and coming to church even though the price of gas is prohibitive since they have to drive 20 miles. We all feel that we have an obligation to be there for them during this time of their need. Theirs is an example of "poor in spirit" that I feel we are called upon to help.

Lisa Larges

Thanks especially for the insight in to Matthew -- for the way in which material poverty grinds down the very spirit -- it does draw together Matthew and Luke for me. I used to think of Matthew as a kind of watered-down version of Luke -- ducking questions of economics in favor of a spiritualized perspective -- something that North American Christians like to do as well. Thanks for making room in the Matthew text for understanding "poor in spirit" from several angles.


This cuts to my very core, especially in the light of the travesty of injustice, and cowtowing to the "haves" in this country in the wake of the most recent budget "compromise". I grieve for our society and pray God will soften our hearts toward the "least of these" who are bearing the lion's share of destitution caused by our selfishness. We are all guilty if we do not find some way to change the direction in this country.


Thanks for some great thoughts Margaret. I really loved reading the confession from your time with women at the Alabama/Mississippi conference!

The comments to this entry are closed.