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Sharing God's Love and Word Within and Beyond Calvary

Sermon January 29 2023

Epiphany 4 A Consecration Sunday Sermon

Blessed to be a Blessing

Matthew 5:1-12


Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

Let us begin today with a question.  The Question is: “How many of you believe that you are blessed?”  Let’s see your hands if you feel you are blessed.  Good. 

Now let me ask you this… “What does it mean to say that you are blessed.”  

For some people, to be blessed means to have wealth and possessions.  For other people it means having good health, family, and friends. 

Think of the blessings in your life.  Can you name them?  Can count them?     

Well, did you know that when God blesses someone God usually intends that the blessings are used and multiplied.  In other words, God gives us blessings so we can share our blessings with other people. 

God’s blessings are meant to grow so that God’s blessings will bless other people as well as ourselves. 

When God blessed Abram, for example, God not only told him that he will have land, descendants, and a nation, but also that other nations and people will be blessed just by being associated with him.  

In the Bible, God’s people are never blessed so they can keep God’s blessings all to themselves.  No, God’s people are blessed so they can be a blessing for other people. 

Over, and over again, Jesus challenged His disciples (and us) to use what God has given to all of us to share with the whole world around us.  So yes, do count your blessings.  And then share your blessings with other people.   

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have been chosen to go and continue the mission that Jesus started when he walked with humanity.   

This means that we are to go and bless the poor, and the hungry, and the weeping, and the hated, and those who feel excluded in our community. 

In today’s Gospel Jesus states “Blessed are those…” who have good reason not to feel blessed.  The list includes the poor, the hungry, those who weep, those who are hated, those who are excluded, those who are reviled, and those who are defamed. 

Notice, in our reading today, they are blessed not because of their circumstance but because Jesus promises they will be comforted, and that they will inherit the earth, and that they will be filled, and that they will receive mercy, and that they will be called children of God.  And so, the question is: “Who will do all these things for them?”  

And the answer is: “We will.”   

God asks us to share the blessings that we have received from Him with the world around us.  

My friends, we have been blessed with so much.  And yes, we do need to thank God for all our blessings.  But we have not been blessed to keep all these blessings for ourselves.  

No.  Instead, we have been called to be a blessing to others.  We are not to be like the dead sea, receiving all the water from the surrounding rivers, streams and tributaries, but giving nothing back.  Because if we fail to share what we have been given, we become more dead than alive just like the Dead Sea.  And we fall short of the expectation God has for us in our participation of His Redeeming Activity in this world.  

Baptized Children of God, we have been blessed so we can be a blessing.  We have been instructed to go and let our light so shine before others that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. 

We have been blessed so we can be God’s hands in this world.  We have been blessed so we can love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who abuse us.  

We have been blessed so we can give of our time, talents, and treasures.  We have been blessed so we can support the ministries God has entrusted to us.  We have been blessed so we can share the wealth we have received from God to advance His work in this world. 

Next week we will host Consecration Sunday.  And we will ask you to share a portion of what God has given to you to help us in our ministry together.  And you will be given a chart to help you evaluate how you can increase your financial support. 

As you participate next week, I want you to remember this quote from Mother Teresa to help you in your discernment.  Mother Teresa has taught us “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”  

And the point is this, helping one person is just as important as helping a hundred people.  And what we have to share does have a huge impact upon the lives of other people. 

It is my prayer that we all may be faithful stewards of what God has given to us.  And that we may all rejoice and be glad that we are participants in God’s Heavenly Kingdom.Let us pray:  O Lord our God, maker of all things.  Through your goodness you have blessed us with many gifts.  With them we offer ourselves to your service and dedicate our lives to the care and redemption of all that you have made, for the sake of him who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.