This Sunday we will begin a four-part sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5. The Sermon on the Mount is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in the New Testament. It includes some of the best-known teachings of Jesus, such as the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, and the often-misunderstood command to “turn the other cheek.” St. Augustine, in the fifth century, described the sermon as containing the “perfect standard of the Christian life.” The teachings of the sermon are often referred to as the “Ethics of the Kingdom.”
Our sermon series begins this week with the Beatitudes and Jesus’ seemingly illogical assertion that those whom the world calls losers are the most blessed people among us – those who mourn, those who are poor in spirit, those who are reviled and persecuted. These are the people in the world who are often brushed aside and trampled upon, or neglected and forgotten; they are the ones who work for what is just and peaceful and good, whose motives are pure and holy, but who never gain the attention or respect of the world. To be among this group of people is to often struggle with a sense of worthlessness, shame, and hopelessness. Do I matter? Does what I do really matter?
Because every one of us struggles from time to time with similar questions, I think the Beatitudes are a source of tremendous strength and hope, and I invite you this Sunday to take your place on the mountain and hear the words of Jesus as he pronounces you “blessed.”
See you Sunday,