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A Thanksgiving Reflection of the Beatitudes in Traynor-Vanier

My family of believers and I are privileged to live, pray, dance, and eat among those the kingdom belongs to. As a family we seek to recognize Jesus in our neighbourhood called Traynor-Vanier where we live in apartments that have been neglected, among neighbours who have faced abuse and injustice. We share homes, food, and a courtyard with beautiful people who live month-to-month relying on God for provision.

My family of believers and I are privileged to live, pray, dance, and eat among those the kingdom belongs to.

Here we see the kingdom breaking through as kids and youth interrupt our adulting, forcing us to play and dream, and as our generous neighbours offer us extravagant hospitality beyond their means. The Holy Spirit is helping us break down walls of hostility and seek justice for our neighbourhood as Jesus appears in dreams, and ushers in reconciliation and restoration of flourishing life as the Father wills it.

The following is an interpretation of Jesus' Beatitudes, which are good news to our neighbourhood:

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God (Luke 6:20)

blessed are you who live as refugees, for you will find your true home.

blessed are you with bedbugs, for you will receive true rest.

blessed are you who face eviction, for you will be welcomed.

blessed are you who are considered sinners and outcasts in their religion, for you are accepted.

blessed are you who are betrayed by friends, for you will find true loyalty.

blessed are you who grow up without a father, for you will be embraced by the perfect Parent.

blessed are you who have no family nearby, for you will be given brothers, sisters, mothers.

blessed are you who struggle with addictions, for you will be satisfied by the love of God.

blessed are you who live in unsafe conditions, for you will receive the ultimate security.

blessed are you who live in fear, for you will find the everlasting peace and comfort.

This is an upside-down concept of blessing. We are usually taught that we are blessed when we are autonomous, self-sufficient, happy, and comfortable. The Beatitudes remind us of true reality: that we are mere creatures in need of our Creator and Redeemer, who embraces us in our brokenness, and will one day fully bring justice, grace, and restoration for all things.

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