I really am glad I joined the Christian Left group. I disagree with probably half of what is said there, but it is nice to look at each one and be challenged by what is being said. Last week, there was a post about the Sermon on the Mount and how it is used as a flag to sail but rarely a rudder to steer with.
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught 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 meek, 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 are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:1-20)
Usually, most people stop at verse 11. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”
So how do we use the sermon as the rudder to steer by?
We can see that we are to mourn and to be meek. We are to hunger and thirst for righteousness. We are to be merciful, pure of heart, and peacemakers. Because of this, we will be persecuted for the sake of the righteousness we cling to and we will be reviled.
Who wouldn’t love for this to be the rudder by which we steer our life by.
You can see the kind of commitment that we are asked to make, but most Christians refuse to make that. We will compromise our life in one area of another in order to avoid offending others or having people speak ill of us. Our own feelings and personal hurts will hinder our ability to reach out to others, making us less effective for the kingdom. The good news is that our hurts will be healed. As we open ourselves to love others, the hurts we take will be ministered to by God. We will be mocked and yelled out for clinging to righteousness, but we will be comforted for our faithfulness.
It is not an easy path to undertake. Maybe that is why Jesus said the path is narrow. The commitment and journey are worth it though. The reassurance we can cling to is that as we stumble on the path, we will be picked up and steadied along the way. I guess this comment was a good one.