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  • Writer's pictureJohn M

Weekly Liturgy : January 23-29

Matthew 5:1-12

The Beatitudes

The Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus Mafa.  1973.
The Sermon on the Mount. Jesus Mafa. 1973.
 

TEXT:


Matthew 5:1-12

The Beatitudes


1-2 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he began to speak and taught them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11-12 “Blessed are you when people 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 in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

REFLECTIONS:


The world I experience rarely looks like the one described by the Beatitudes. The rich and powerful seem to stay rich and powerful at the expense of the rest. The Kingdom of the Meek ‘n Mild is either delayed or cancelled.


But sometimes… sometimes … the world does look like Jesus’ version. The healthcare system pulls through for an 80 year old man on SSI and in need of monitored care. A family finally moves into their first apartment. A war ends. The new community program is fully funded. Goodness is recognized and the soul knows its worth.


But if I’m honest, this doesn’t happen often enough for me to believe Jesus really knows what he’s talking about. But if I’m honest even more, I don’t always look very hard for this alternative Kingdom either.


This week, may the few glimpses we get be enough to train our eyes and sustain our hope for a radical new world that may be brewing under our noses.

 

PRACTICE:


Outward Mindset Application

Think of a way you may have inadvertently created difficulty for a co-worker. Check in with that person to find out and apologize if necessary.


Pathways Toward Centeredness

Tradition (loving the world through ritual and symbol): This week, think about your faith or wisdom community, or identify one you admire ( church, an activist organizatio, etc!). What is one habit this community practices regularly? If you participate regularly, try to be especially present to the practice this week. If not, try to engage a tradition and see if it helps you see the world in a new way.


Questions for Relection

What do you do when you see the world rewarding people and behaviors that you disagree with? How do you hold on to hope for a different possibility? Which of the beatitudes is easiest for you to believe to be true? Which one is the most difficult?

 

You’re Invited!

One of our community practices is to gather every Sunday morning for prayer, friendship, and conversation about the week’s Scripture text. Doors open at 10:30am for coffee and donuts. Our circle begins at 11:00am. We’d love to see you there! The Open Table (@ The old DMV) 2640 N Portland Rd Salem, OR 97301

 

“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.


Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.


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