Wednesday, August 10, 2016

10 August 2016
“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:” Matthew 5:1-2 (NRSV)
            This morning I found a couple posts on Facebook that sum up what I’m trying to do-my goal, as it were-for this blog. The first is an icon with a quote from St. Augustine: ”A Christian is: a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks, and a hand through which Christ helps”. The second is a picture of a young man walking beside a woman in a wheelchair in the rain. He is holding his umbrella over her, keeping her dry while he gets soaked, while several people watch. The caption reads “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion”.
            Much in the way of opinion has been written about the Beatitudes over the centuries. So much so it seems redundant, perhaps even ridiculous, to add more, to think there may be yet one more original voice. And yet here I am. I try to keep things simple and practical; at times simple-minded may be the better description. Today, however, we will spend a few minutes with the words themselves, allowing Jesus time to speak directly to us.
            Many years ago a pastor I knew preached a sermon on Mark 10:46-52. He finished up with a short meditation exercise; the idea was to imagine Jesus asking us “what do you want me to do for you?” Today we will take a slightly different approach to the same exercise. Begin by finding a quiet, comfortable place and taking a minute to calm your mind. Breathe deeply and slowly. Read through the Beatitudes one time, letting the words of sink in, take up residence. Now imagine yourself in Jesus’ presence with His disciples. He is telling you what life will be like in the new age He has come to introduce. Feel the quiet of the crowd as they-and you-hang on every word. This is different from anything you have heard before; something new and exciting and challenging. Go through the Beatitudes again, slowly, hearing Jesus speak them to you.  Jesus has given you your instructions; your marching orders. End by asking Him “Lord, what do you want me to do for you?” We are His eyes and ears; His hands and feet. We are His practical day to day presence; wherever we are, He is. People are watching. He is watching. See you tomorrow, Lord willing.

May the Lord Bless you and keep you this day. JRG

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