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Posts Tagged ‘The Sermon on the Mount and Plain’


Luke 6: God’s Yardstick – The Law of Love – Part II

The Poor in SpiritHumility-2

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

We continue to look for God’s yardstick in New Scripture.

Jesus shows us in the New Testament how to achieve union with God. In his sermons on the Mount (Matthew 5) and the Plain (Luke 6), Jesus lays out quite clearly how we might join him in the true kingdom of eternal, beatific happiness. We will not find him taking the lead in our earthly political, social kingdoms or work kingdoms . . . although he is there nevertheless. To find Jesus, and happiness, we must look along the edges of society among the marginalized, mourning, and ailing. Jesus brings us a unique message of inversion through the paradox of the Beatitudes. Jesus leads us on an exodus from bondage to true freedom. Jesus leads us from dark to light, from sadness to joy, from death to life. The beatitudes do not, scholars point out, occur in a random order; rather, they form a carefully constructed ladder that leads to true blessedness and lasting happiness. They lead to the joy of the kingdom. Today we look at the first of these rungs in the ladder of God’s Yardstick.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus tells us. He speaks of people who are truly humble, who know themselves, and who see humility as the opposite of hubris or overpowering pride. With his own human life as a model, Jesus shows us that it is in our willingness to be poor in spirit for a time that we will experience the serenity of the kingdom. Paul understands this and in his letter to the Philippians, he describes the importance of humility as an essential attitude for entry into the kingdom (Philippians 2, 5-8). Today we use the scripture links to compare and study these verses, and to allow God’s humility to seep into our bones.

Tomorrow, the value of mourning.


Image from: http://tommyeldridge.com/god-opposes-proud/

Adapted from a Favorite written on January 5, 2007.

 

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Beatitude: Happiness

The Eighth Day of Christmas, January 1, 2018

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gives to me eight maids a-milking.  

The ancient carol reminds us that happiness comes to us in a variety ways; and as Jesus tells us, all ways lead to The Way. Christ continues to lead us along the path that asks us to reduce ourselves so that he may increase in our lives. This Way is narrow yet full of blessing and promise that come to us through inversion – as does so much that Christ explains to us.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, the mourning, the meek, the ones who hunger and thirst, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake.

Rather than encourage self-centered thinking, Jesus asks us to care for others as readily – or even more – than ourselves. This is difficult living, Christ reminds us, yet the reward will be great indeed.

Theirs is the kingdom of heaven, they will be comforted, they will inherit the earth, they will be filled, for they will receive mercy, they will see God and be called children of God, for again . . . theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Contrary to a world that tells us to tend to ourselves, Christ asks us to show preference for those on the margin. Despite this apparent contradiction to survival, Jesus promises a life that is beyond any we might have expected. A life that produces fruit in endless abundance.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great.

On this first day of the new year, let us explore the words Christ has for us about happiness, one of the gifts he brings to us this Christmastide; and let us consider how we might find this eternal bliss today and all days.

For detailed notes on the Beatitudes, see the Happiness page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/happiness-beatitude/

 

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