4th Sunday After the Epiphany
1 Corinthians 1.18-31
Sometimes we try not to preach the same texts all the time. Sometimes we preach the same text every year (Christmas, Easter, etc). Anytime the Lectionary includes a Sermon on the Mount passage, I preach it.
As I have been pouring over Matthew 5.1-12, I realize that typically we see the beatitudes in terms of the behavior that brings about the blessing. But it seems to me that the thrust of the message is not about us needing to become poor, or meek, or hungry, or thirsty, or grieved, or persecuted, but rather that in God's world, where Christ reigns in glory, the meek are blessed; the poor are blessed; the hungry are blessed; the thirsty are blessed; the merciful are blessed; the pure are blessed; the peacemakers are blessed; the persecuted are blessed.
The question is, are we about seeking a blessing for ourselves, or about being a source of blessing for others. The beatitudes list those who hold a special place in Jesus' heart. The beatitudes are a reminder of who the church ought to be reaching out to and blessing. The church out to be a place of blessing where the poor find a place, where the mourning find comfort, where the meek find a voice, where the empty are filled, where the merciful and pure and peacemakers are honored, where the persecuted find sanctuary.
Could it be that the beatitudes are a command to those who follow Christ -- that if his mission is to be our mission then we have to start seeing the world through his eyes and ministering to the world around us accordingly?