Updated: Jun 18
Encounter: Begin by watching Episode 8 of Season 2 with us this Friday night, June 10th, in the sanctuary or on your own. Take some quiet time to read Matthew 5:1-16 and work through the questions on the discussion sheet made available to you at https://www.edenmuncie.com/the-chosen-resources and discuss with your Life Group or Sunday Study Group.
The Instagram post read, “Those people who say you spend too much money on plants, those are not your people.”:) I immediately had to share with my friend and fellow plant lover, Haley Thornburg who has recently opened her own home-based online plant shop @thegrovemuncie. I would definitely count Haley as one of my people (I hope she feels the same about me:), because of our shared passion to create beauty by enjoying and caring for God’s creation.
The social media craze of the 21st century is not the first to tell us we have been created for connection and community with people who are kindred spirits and live motivated by values and passions similar to ours. Finding your “Tribe” has caused people to move across oceans, get married, join a cult, start a war, or build communities of safety and peace and even start churches.
And all of this grows from the core of a shared value system. What you value, you will invest your life, resources and time in. When we are with our people we share a worldview and we also decide who is in our tribe and who is out. Religions are often based on who is in and who is out, who is our people and who are not. At its worst, our view of people and our value systems can be distorted by our own preferences or need for control or are not spacious enough to include those who at first glance are different from us. At its very best, when we find our tribe or our people, we are fortunate. You could say, we are blessed
In the book, The Ninefold Path of Jesus: Hidden Wisdom of the Beatitudes, Mark Scandrette helps us look closer at the word “makarios,” which is often translated, “blessed.” He suggests we need to understand just how unique Jesus’ Beatitudes were:
What’s surprising is who Jesus calls fortunate. At the time, people assumed that only the most wealthy, attractive, or powerful were blessed. Poor, sad, and suffering people were thought to be cursed. Still today it can feel like our circumstances, identity, or previous choices exclude us from the blessed life. With these strange blessings Jesus announces that a thriving life, under God’s care, is available to anyone. Whatever your story, whatever your struggle, wherever you find yourself, this path is available to you.
If we look only at the first three Beatitudes, it might seem like the whole point is that a blessed life is available to unlikely people. But the next four Beatitudes celebrate noble qualities: a hunger for justice, mercy, purity of heart, and peacemaking. This shift suggests that Jesus is introducing a more comprehensive picture of what the blessed life looks like and how to experience it.
In Episode 8, we see Jesus laboring over how to share with His creation a whole new value system. Core values of the kingdom that would unite millions of people into one tribe for an eternity. The Beatitudes are just the beginning of what is called, The Sermon on the Mount. A sermon that was meant to cause a stir and even conflict.
Jesus tells Matthew, “It’s bound to happen when you start something that is open to all people, zealots and tax collectors, people who have been through tough times, hesitant and skeptical, bored and confident, hungry to learn and those learned and knowledgeable…and if someone wants to find me these are the groups they should look for…these are my people:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
So who are your people? When you go looking, remember Jesus has given us a map. For when we find his people, we find our people.
His people with you,
P.S. See you tomorrow night for The Chosen Movie Night in the Sanctuary, you’ll find your tribe eating pizza and popcorn!:)