What was the background of the Beatitudes? What were the personal struggles of the ordinary people whom Jesus addressed? This drama paints a partial picture of some of the people who could well have been among those to whom Jesus first said, "Happy are those who..."
Market day in Capernaum and Hannah and Miriam are on their way home.
HANNAH:Hot day at the markets, Miriam!
MIRIAM:Yes, Hannah. Ezzai's fish were smelling none too fresh!
HANNAH:Something in the vegetable stalls was definitely off!
MIRIAM:We'll just have to go home and do the old miracle again, won't we?
HANNAH:How do you mean, Miriam?
MIRIAM:We've got to make something out of nothing, don't we? Our menfolk will expect to be fed just the same, Hannah - food or no food!
HANNAH:And we have to strike the best bargain we can - money or no money! I've heard you talk about "doing the old miracle" before. It somehow reminds me of something...
MIRIAM:Just a saying! Comes from Grandma, I think. She lived in really hard times!
HANNAH:Your family has a fascinating history, Miriam. But it wasn't that! Your mention of "miracle" stirred another memory...
MIRIAM:Not about that Teacher, Jesus, who was here a few weeks back?
HANNAH:Thanks! Yes! That's right! Jesus! Thanks! I'd forgotten the name.
MIRIAM:But not the man, surely - nor his teaching - nor his miracles...
HANNAH:Nor his miracles!
MIRIAM:Crowds are following to hear every word he says.
HANNAH:And bringing their sick for him to heal.
MIRIAM:Jacob my husband wants to go to the mountain near Hattin to hear him. It seems he's heading that way!
HANNAH:We need something! We all do!
MIRIAM:I don't know about you, Hannah, but when the Scripture is read in the synagogue lately I feel devastated!
MIRIAM:I keep trying, but I'm never good enough. I'm just poor in God's sight!
HANNAH:Now, now, Miriam! You're a good woman! Stop putting yourself down!
MIRIAM:Poor, I tell you! Sometimes, Hannah, when Jacob and the children are away, when I'm sweeping out the house, I weep over it! Yes, I do, Hannah! I weep because I am so poor! So poor in God's sight!
HANNAH:Stop putting yourself down! Don't take it all so much to heart! Assert yourself! Think positive!
MIRIAM:I sincerely want to do right, but the Lord is holy - how can he be merciful How can he forgive?
Not long afterwards Miriam and Jacob joined the crowds that were following Jesus. Let's hear what he said in Matthew 5.1-12.
Reader:Matthew 5.1-12.

From Between the Lines. Dialogues for Worship by Peter J. Blackburn published by Testimonium Fellowship 1992, (c) Peter J. Blackburn.
Permission is given for copying of this document for local use with this copyright notice intact. For any other proposed use the specific permission of Peter J. Blackburn must be sought.

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