Sermon 2 February 2020

Today we see the Beatitudes, which means extreme blessedness. Jesus gives those things that are extremely blessed. They seem almost opposed. ‘Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth’  It appears the rich and hard working inherit the earth. How can being meek give you the earth. While in America we were told the First Nation People say that no one owns the land. So how do the meek get it? How do those who mourn get comforted?

Paul’s letter seems to have no connection to the beatitudes. He writes that the, ‘22Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.’ The cross does not make sense in Paul’s time.

Paul lets the Corinthian’s know that God works through the socially unwise, weak, lowly, even the things that are not. Here God’s acts make sense. In Christ and his crucifixion is wisdom, which means our righteousness, holiness and redemption (v30).

This though is also the message of the Beatitudes. They sound foolish, but they are talking about the socially unwise, weak, lowly, even the things that are not.

Jesus was living this life and he received the blessings, the beatitude because the real blessing is not outward, physical. The blessing is an inward peace with our actions and our choices. They are not from the world, but from God.

This is still relevant today. The message of the beatitudes and the cross are foolishness to many, it doesn’t make sense. To live for something you cannot see and that God would come in human form and die to give a freedom that God can give without the death. That there is a great blessing in the suffering of this world, does not make sense

It is only as we see that the sufferings are not of God, but of humanity. God seeks to help those who want to be saved from the suffering humanity is causing. Those who believe there is a better way. In this they see in Christ the acts of a God who understands and reaches out to save. To understand this act and accept it is the beginning of living in the great blessing.