Saturday, September 26, 2020

Relevant Lessons From the Sermon on the Mount

It's one of those rare peaceful mornings where I found the time to sit on my balcony with a cup of mediocre coffee and enjoy seven whole chapters of some excellent Word. When was the last time I actually read more than one obligatory chapter of Scripture? Honestly, IDK - heh. 

School has been busy, I have a submission deadline fast approaching, and I've been too exhausted and mind-addled to remember to seek rest by spending time with God. Thank God for my small group (affectionately called "the smoup"), who reminded me of the Biblically proportioned importance of heeding the command to just... rest. 

Here are some notes from Matthew 5, which brought up a lot of questions for me:
  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (and are persecuted for this reason), those who are merciful, and those who are pure and seek peace. (Matthew 5:3-10)
  • We are the salt of the earth and light of the world. (Matthew 5:13-14)
    • Why does it often not feel that way?
  • Don't judge. Don't call people fools. Be reconciled to our sisters and brothers. (Matthew 5:21-24)
  • Don't seek retaliation - we are literally told to turn the other cheek and to go above and beyond when people ask anything of us. (Matthew 5:38-41)
    • In our nation, we're so concerned about our personal rights and freedoms. What if we have made these things idols that we ought not be worshipping at all? What if we've confused these as God given, when in fact they were simply a temporary blessing? What does it look like for us to actually not "resist the one who is evil" and turn the other cheek instead? 
  • We'd damn well better love our neighbors and our enemies. (Matthew 5:43-48)
    • In what ways am I failing to do this? If I'm honest, I'm failing in so many ways. It's so much easier to paint those who disagree with my values as villainous caricatures. What would it look like if I loved them instead? And what if this love wasn't driven by self-righteous pity, but out of any understanding that I've been commanded to do so?  

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