Wednesday after Pentecost

Psalm 86, Ecclesiastes 7:2–5, Matthew 5:3-10

The world is often full of . In f, were you to watch the news, it would seem that far outweighs anything else in the world. One of the biggest reasons for this is our desire to avoid it. Sounds contradictory. If we look around us, though, often what people pursue is to avoid . This could be any kind of : hunger, loss, shame, health, pride, life.

This often leads to problems as we try to hide our from ourselves and . We also strive to avoid , so that we don’t feel a touch of it ourselves.

Why is it that the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us to go to the house of mourning? Wouldn’t it be better to be in a fun place? In , there is often far more honesty (even if it is lashing out in anger) than there is where everybody seems to be having a good time, or at least certainly trying to have a good time.

Jesus takes it even to another level and says those in are blessed. Blessed? For most people in , blessed is often not the first that comes to mind. However, in is often the time a is more open to . This can be the time the is presented with an open door.

1) Think of many of the major decisions in your life. Were they based partially on or avoidance?

2) We often focus on . Why is that, when that’s not what we want?

3) While Jesus isn’t telling us to deliberately and purposefully live a life of , what do his tell us is the Christian ?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.