Thoughts From Toby

Every now and then, I enjoy reading familiar passages in The Message, Eugene Peterson’s wonderful contemporary translation/paraphrase of the Bible. It usually gives me a different perspective on the meaning of a text, which can be extremely helpful. I wanted to share the Beatitudes, found right at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, as translated in The Message. May each of us come to realize just how rich the blessings of God are!

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see
God in the outside world.

You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. (Matthew 5:3-10, The Message)