From the Pastor: Time or Meek Christianity

Over the months of April and May, we have been listening to Jesus’ words found in the Beatitudes. We have sought to hear, understand, and apply Jesus’ words in order to develop the “attitudes” that lead us down the path to blessedness. In his book, The Ladder of the Beatitudes, Jim Forest shares that in the Orthodox church, reflection on the beatitudes is often recommended as a way of preparing for confession and communion. He includes the following questions in his book as a way to examine one’s conscience about steps not yet taken in following Jesus. As we ended our Beatitude Sermon Series, I share these questions with you that you might reflect on your own spiritual journey with Jesus.

Do I embrace poverty of spirit – or fall from it at the speed of light?

For whom have I been in mourning?

How meek am I in my response to the gospels?

In what ways am I hungry for righteousness?

How merciful am I regarding those who in some way have done me harm?

How pure is my heart and what keeps it so impure?

In what ways am I trying to purify my heart?

What are the divisions that intersect my life and in what ways am I responding to these divisions as a peacemaker?

What enemies do I love? For which enemies am I praying?

Whose threatened life am I trying to safeguard?

Do I accept persecution as a blessing, or do I avoid anything that might get me into trouble?

When I answer these questions, I realize I am a work in progress. Perhaps your response is similar to mine, like me you realize you are on a spiritual journey, that you are a work in progress. If so, I pray you will continue to ponder and take steps that will provide opportunities for the Attitudes of the Beatitudes to grow deeper and stronger in your individual life and our shared life as a faith community. When we develop these “Attitudes” together we will be a community of people who cannot be easily dismissed by others, but invite them to accept or reject the Kingdom of God. Finally, when we climb the “ladder of the Beatitudes” we discover we share the best of company, that great cloud of witnesses—the prophets, the martyrs, and the saints.

Pastor David

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