Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteous sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

We believe, have experienced, and know that God is who He says He is. Through Jesus the Christ we have a deep and abiding relationship with God. We know that we are a part of what God is doing in creation and beyond. We know that we are predesigned for relationship with God, with each other, and with our own inner beings; we do these relationships well on the earth by adding and multiplying in creativity. In doing so, we call life unto life. 

We have grown from an awakening to a fullness of living. We were once cynical, disbelieving, disenchanted, trapped in despair, darkness, destruction and death. Through initial admission of neediness and continuing dependence upon God, we are continuously being matured into richer hope, faith, and love. Like acorns in the first Beatitude, we were buried in the soil of Christ. We have become deeply rooted and have become oak trees of righteousness in our surrender of heart. He has declared us as righteous, good enough for Him. He has given us the gift of life and the gift of passion and vision.  

We hoped in the 1st Beatitude and reached for help and our faith was born. As we grow, we remember where we started. This memory continues our gratitude and desire to depend upon Him. This continuous hope, reaching, and remembering, grows into certainty, the certainty that He will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. His intentions will all come true. No matter what happens, we persevere because we believe that our King can never be defeated and cannot stop loving us -- His emissaries, His heirs, His children, His adopted ones.

We are a part of a historical precedence from the Book of Hebrews. All of the heroes named lived by faith even up to death. They lived sure of what they hoped for, as do we, and certain of what that did not see, as do we. They were commended for their faith by God, as are we. God really likes us and we really like God, so we press on as aliens and strangers on earth, longing for a better place -- a heavenly one. We want to go home. But until we are called there at death, we build, make, do, reach out, offer, create in love expressions of God's greatness in whatever we do. For all work where the heart lives is noble.  

We also recognize that love is a war against apathy, light with darkness, creation with destruction, hope with despair and courage with death. While we have overcome the world, we are still at war, a war of love for life and against the void.

So we will be mocked by the very people we used to be like. Let us remember where we started so that mercy is our strongest weapon. Let us also remember that compromise is a way for us to return to holding hands with that which despises life.

Let us never forget the 1st Beatitude, which opened the door to the kingdom of heaven. Let us pray that we keep the passion of the last Beatitude, which likewise keeps the eyes of our hearts focused on the fullness of God's greatness here on earth.

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AuthorChip Dodd