Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A Radical Shift

I was reading the Beatitudes yesterday and it hit me how radical these teachings are. We've all heard them and thought: "Gee, well that was a nice thing to say. Yup, that sure would be a good way to live."

What would it be like, however, if we took them seriously? In a world that is defined by "Survival of the Fittest" - In a culture that places admiration upon those who strive and drive (no matter the cost!) to succeed - herein lies the radical nature of a teaching that heralds the quiet, peaceful, merciful, and compassionate ones:

Jesus opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying-
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


kiznath said...

Have you ever read "Divine Conspiracy" by Dallas Willard? He has an interesting take on the Beatitudes - since I haven't read it in a while, I wouldn't do it justice trying to explain. I highly recommend it...

Larry said...

"What would it be like, however, if we took them seriously?" If we take them seriously we find ourselves no longer a member of the tribe. We become open to negative affect from the members of the tribe.

This is a lonely way. It boils down to how far out on the limb do you want to go. Not enough to be crucified, huh? That's what it means to take it completely seriously.

Re Jesus' program: we want to help a little.

isaiah said...

After a Christmas season of commercials and mass- peddling I though if Jesus were here today he might have added another to his list of blessed:

"Blessed are the old, over- weight, ordinary- looking, and simple minded that they too may become a demographic worthy of marketing to."

I'm so glad I won't have to sit through another "Old Navy" or "Gap" commercial where everyone is young, hip, beautiful and slim. It's enough to make one want to move to Tibet.