|Title: The "Bee Attitudes"|
Theme: We find true happiness in Jesus. 4th Sunday after Epiphany, Yr. A
Object: A flower or a toy bee.
Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12
Have you ever watched a bee buzzing around in a flower garden? As you watch that bee, you will see that he isn't worried about a thing in the world. He is too busy enjoying all of the beautiful flowers that God has provided for him. He is as busy and as happy as a bee can be.
If I were to ask you to tell me what what makes you happy, what would your answer be? Would it be something like "happiness is scoring the winning goal in a soccer game" or "happiness is being the most popular person in my class?"
We all want to be happy, don't we? Does it surprise you to know that God wants you to be happy? Well, he does, but you might be surprised to find out that what Jesus said about happiness is quite different from what you and I might expect. Most of us think that to be happy means having a lot of money, having plenty to eat, having someone to take care of us, or being well-liked by everyone. That isn't what Jesus said.
One day Jesus went up onto the side of a mountain. He sat down, gathered his disciples around him, and began to teach them about happiness. Even though these are not the exact words Jesus used, I think they will help us to understand what he taught.
He said things like:
Be happy when you are poor in spirit, because then you will find that your riches are in the kingdom of heaven.
Be happy when you feel you have lost what is most dear to you, because it is then that you will feel the love of the One who is the most dear to you.
Be happy with what you have, because then you will find that your heavenly Father provides everything that you need.
Be happy when you are hungry for the things of God, because then you will find that only He can satisfy.
Be happy when you are caring for others, because it is in caring for others that you will find that you have a heavenly Father who cares for you.
Be happy when your heart is right with God, because it is then that you will see that God is at work in the world around you.
Be happy when you help others to get along peacefully with one another, because it is then that you will know the peace that comes from being a part of the family of God.
Be happy when others treat you badly because you follow me, because your reward will be great in heaven.
You see, happiness is not a feeling that is brought about by the things that happen to us. It is an attitude that we have because of what we have in our heart. We need to be like the bee, buzzing happily through life because of what God has done for us.
Dear Father, help us to have the happiness that you want for us. Happiness that comes, not from what happens to us, but from what happens inside of us. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.