Blessed are the poor in spirit; yours is the kingdom of heaven!
What could the church do, not just say, that would make the poor in spirit believe that?
Blessed are the mourners; they shall be comforted!
How will the mourners believe that, if we are not God's agents in bringing that comfort?
Blessed are the meek; they shall inherit the earth.
How will the meek ever believe such nonsense if the church does not stand up for their rights against the rich and the powerful, in the name of the crucified Messiah who had nowhere to lay his head?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God's justice.
How will that message get through, unless we are prepared to stand alongside those who are denied justice and go on making a fuss until they get it?
Blessed are the merciful.
How are people to believe that, in a world where mercy is weakness, unless we visit the prisoner and welcome the prodigal?
Blessed are the pure in heart.
How will people believe that, in a world where impurity is big business, unless we ourselves are worshiping the living God until our own hearts are set on fire and scorched through with his purity?
Blessed are the peacemakers.
How will we ever learn that, in a world where war in one country means business for another, unless the church stands in the middle and says that there is a different way of being human, a different way of ordering our common life?
Blessed are those who are persecuted and insulted for the kingdom's sake, for Jesus' sake.
How will that message ever get across if the church is so anxious not to court bad publicity that it refuses to every say or do anything that might get it into trouble either with the authorities, for being so subversive, or with the revolutionaries, for insisting that the true revolution begins at the foot of the cross?
N.T. Wright - For All God's Worth, pg. 135
via dwight at epic journeys