Listen now, for this is the way of the world:
Blessed are the rich, for they can buy the earth.
Blessed are the powerful, for they will control the people.
Blessed are the war makers, for they will conquer the world.
Blessed are the greedy, for they will gain extravagance.
Blessed are the mighty, for they will instill fear.
Blessed are the comfortable, for they will want for nothing.
Blessed are the apathetic, for they can look the other way.
Blessed are the corrupt, for they will get their way and not get caught.
Blessed are the liars, for they will always evade truth.
This is the word of the powers and principalities. Thanks be to Empire.
Listen now, for this is where the Lord stands:
Blessed are the poor in spirit who lost their jobs during the pandemic and aren’t sure how they’re going to pay rent today, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the Black families who mourn because their sibling, child, cousin, friend was killed by police, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the 545 meek children whose parents cannot be found after they were forcibly separated from them at the border, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty and don’t know if they will eat today, for they will be filled.
Blessed are those who are merciful when the world demands anything but, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the married couples with pure love in their hearts but who fear their legal status of marriage may be taken away because they are married to someone of the same sex, for they will see God.
Blessed are the protesters marching for peacemaking and justice, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted on account of their race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status or ability, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when you stand on the side of the Blessed, when you stand where God stands. Even if people, including the people closest to you, revile you, persecute you and utter all kinds of terrible things about you on God’s account.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Leigh Curl serves as pastoral resident at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas. She is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and Baylor University.