Church of the Beatitudes, the traditional side of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
October 30, 2023

The Great Reversal: Matthew 5:1-12

This blog includes service elements to be used in conjunction with Matthew 5:1-12 where Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount challenged the culture in presenting a new vision of what it means to be blessed. The message of the “Great Reversal” is as relevant today as it was when Christ first preached it. 

The text in bold is meant to be spoken by the congregation but could be left to a single reader or  small group. The Call to Worship and Confession and Assurance are arranged to be led by 3 readers as indicated but would work with a single reader. 

For those following the Revised Lectionary this text is the Gospel reading for Year A: All Saints Day, sometimes observed on the first Sunday of November.

Photo: Church of the Beatitudes, the traditional site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount by Joyce Borger © 2023 Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike


Call to Worship 

1: Come, all of you who are poor, 
all of you who need comfort. 

2: Come, all of you who are meek, 
all of you who are hungry and thirsty. 

3: May you come and worship,
for Jesus sees you, sits down with you,
and speaks to you today.


Confession and Assurance

1: Mighty God, 
you demonstrated what it means to be merciful 
when you died for even the Roman soldiers who hung you on the cross. 

Have mercy on us, 
for we are prone to building bitterness, 
running after revenge, and harboring hatred. 

2: Holy God, 
you displayed the purity of your heart 
when you scorned the temptations of this world, 
resisting even the Evil One in the desert.

But with our divided hearts 
we pursue pastimes and seek success. 
We ignore what you have called us to do. 

3: Giver of Peace, 
you taught us what it means to be a peacemaker 
as you healed the severed ear of the soldier who came to arrest you. 

Yet, we wage war, sow separation, and cultivate conflict. 

1: We humbly confess that we have ignored the ways of your kingdom. 


2: The Mighty, Holy, and Peaceful God 
assures us that even though we are not faithful, 
God is always faithful. 
Even though we are not righteous, 
God gives us Christ’s righteousness. 
Even though we can not earn our inheritance, 
God calls us God’s children. 

Truly we are blessed! 
Rejoice and be glad, 
for our reward is great in heaven!


The Scripture 

“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he began to speak and taught them, saying:

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 receive 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 for the sake of righteousness, 
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you 
and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, 
for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

—Matthew 5:1–12


Sermon Notes 

By the grace of God, Jesus welcomes us into the blessings of the “Great Reversal” kingdom described in the Beatitudes. We do not earn these blessings because we are welcomed into this kingdom at our baptism. When we pour the water over the baptized, we remember that they emerge from the waters as a child of God and that comes with the blessings that Christ promises in this text. The Kingdom of Heaven is now, and we get to be the children of God living in it!


Song Suggestions

"Blessed Are the Merciful"Wardell et al.
"Promises"Maverick City Music
"It Is Well With My Soul"Getty and Getty
"Know You Are Loved"Kimbrough
"Build Your Kingdom Here"Rend Collective

Katy Matejka Kroondyk is a student at Western Theological Seminary and the Fitness Coordinator at Zeeland Recreation. She lives with her husband, Rev. Jeff Kroondyk, and their daughters, LillyAnn and Eliza, in Holland, MI.