In the Lectionary

November 1, All Saints A (Matthew 5:1-12)

Eight upside-down blessings for a pandemic world

I’m not sure the world has ever felt as upside down in my lifetime as it has in 2020. A global pandemic and accompanying economic crisis, political division and discord, protests for justice and a better world for all people, and every week, it seems, a new catastrophe—a news story (or several) that causes us to roll our eyes and think, Now this!

A year ago, life included parties, happy hours, and travel. Its more mundane activities included public transit, workdays in the office, going to church, shopping for groceries, picking the kids up from school, and hugging people. That world is gone now. Every single one of these elements of “normal life” has been disrupted, destroyed, turned on its head. The world we inhabit now is strange, unfamiliar, and scary. We don’t know what the future will hold or how long this season of upheaval and uncertainty will last.

Many times in recent months I have thought that the world is broken. Ending, even. That everything has become messed up. I have longed for the world I knew before. Despite its imperfections and injustices, it was a world that was largely comfortable for me.