1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
“A few months ago, we heard a sermon on the beatitudes, or the ‘be happys.’ We learned that this is not meant as another to-do list of the law; rather, these blessings are introducing the values of the kingdom of God, illustrating how redeemed citizens of this kingdom act. They are an invitation to be instead of to do. None of these values bolster our own self-importance, but cause us to recognize our need for God. In our own strength, we cannot cause ourselves to hunger and thirst for righteousness. We cannot make our hearts pure so that we can see God. If anything, these postures of our hearts allow for God to be who He is. These kingdom values show the heart of our God, revealing He is near when we are undone.
When I think of being over doing, I think of the practice of embodiment. Embodiment is simply paying attention to sensations in your body, like hunger, rapid heart-beat, or fatigue. Sensations give clues to emotions as well as biological functions. Similarly, certain postures and motions can lead you to feel a certain emotion. Your emotions affect your body, and your body affects your emotions.
Reflecting on all of this, I thought of no better way to express the embodiment of faith than through actual bodies. That is why each panel involves either a whole or parts of the human figure. My desire was to capture postures of the body that promote the heart posture described in each blessing. Some were easier to express than others, such as hands for peacemakers, while others were more of a challenge. Humility was the biggest stretch: I wanted to highlight our relationship to gravity as humans as a posture of humility, hence the complicated position. In addition, the black squiggles represent darkness in ourselves and the world. However, being a part of the kingdom means the darkness has no hold over us and we are free to live out the kind of life Jesus describes and He Himself embodies.”
- Sammi Lawson
2. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
3. Blessed are the humble, for they shall inherit the earth.
4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
5. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
6. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
8. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.