Blessed are active and recovering alcoholics --
and all who come out of surgery
longing for that swab, those ice chips,
for they will find living water.
“Truly, I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Blessed are those who are incarcerated --
sleeping it off only one night
or looking at mandatory life or death row,
those in brigs and immigration detention centers,
county jails, maximum security, house arrest,
witness protection, or parole,
for they are promised Paradise.
“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani” “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Blessed are the forsaken ones --
the depressed and despairing,
and those who love them –
for their cries are heard.
“Woman, here is your son.” “Here is your mother.”
Blessed is anyone who accepts another’s child
by adoption or fostering,
through mentoring or teaching or coaching.
Bless the aunts and uncles,
the neighbors and case workers,
the friend of the family,
or friend in spite of the family.
Blessed is anyone who cares for another’s parent,
because the ex isn’t doing it
or nobody comes to visit this elder,
or the old coot, crabby naomi, whiner
has pushed everyone away.
Blessed are these for they do God a favor.
"Abba, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Blessed are all of us who make mistakes,
who choose the wrong side,
of something large or insignificant,
who think the crown-of-ethnic joke is funny,
who hear the rooster crow -- coward,
who roll the soldier’s dice
and it comes up PTSD,
who wash our hands of something
we could have changed,
who are caught in a crowd
and hear ourselves yell some hate or hurt,
for we are forgiven anyway.
“Abba, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Blessed are those in hospice today,
and all who care for them –
family and friends,
volunteers and home health aides,
nurse practitioners and drivers,
doctors and chaplains,
for their spirits are in God’s hands.
“It is finished”
Blessed are those who have died this year,
for them it has begun.
Image Knox United Church, Vancouver