Thursday, January 27, 2011

Living into the Beatitudes

Soon after the Christmas story and then the emergence of Jesus as the adult being baptized by John the Baptist, the gospel narrative moves us into focusing on Jesus' ministry and focusing on those to whom he ministered. The Beatitudes in Matthew was his first public speech - and it serves as his "core values" speech and the focus of God's attention. Imagine being one of the poor, in first century, that meant that you had no power, imagine sitting on that hillside and listening to a teacher say, "I know you are poor, but blessed are you now for God is paying attention to your plight." Now that statement from Jesus did not get published in the gospel, but I imagine him saying it and for those who heard these words, I imagine hope began to bloom in their hearts because blessedness in those days always seemed to go toward the wealthy and the powerful. Jesus was drawing in the Beatitudes an alternative religious prospective - one focused on the meek, poor, peacemakers and those left out of the normal power circles.

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