A More Human Way to Live
That Jesus delivers his Sermon on the Mount from the top of a mountain is fitting in several ways. Not only does it connect his teaching with the giving of the law to Israel on Mt. Sinai — suggesting its divine origin — it is also fitting because this sermon is the very summit of teaching in all of history. As we read Jesus’ words here, it is my conviction that we are reading the very heights of wisdom.
As we follow along with the Beatitudes, we are being exposed to a new and revolutionary way to live. In light of the kingdom of God invading the present, a more human way to live is opened up to us. In the midst of a troubled, discouraging and contentious time, Jesus, as the Son of God, opened up for his hearers new, counter-cultural and counter-intuitive ways to live blessed lives.
As we come to his teachings in the Gospel of Matthew by the power of the Holy Spirit and because of Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, we too are invited into this revolutionary and new way to live. In the midst of our own troubled, discouraging and deeply contentious times, we are invited to set our focus upon Jesus and his teaching. This is so that we might, by his grace, more fully become the kind of people Jesus describes in Matthew 5 — the kind of people the world desperately needs. People who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who are meek and ready to show mercy, who hunger for righteousness, and who are able to make peace.
I’m excited to let y’all know that we are scheduled to close on the purchase of the home at 1816 Ashberry Drive today. It is hard to believe that we first found the home less than three weeks ago. I also want to highlight for you our Parish Meeting on Feb. 19 following the service. We will talk a little more about the Parish House, some other plans and the vision for COTC moving forward. Also, you’re invited to an open house on Saturday, Feb. 25 to see the space! More details will be coming, but this will also be a chance for us to celebrate before entering the penitential season of Lent.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 1, the season of Lent is a season of repentance and preparation as Easter approaches. It is a season of reminder that the new and blessed way of Jesus is a cruciform way. In involves dying to ourselves and taking up our own crosses. We will be pressing into this season in the weeks to come, but I want to recommend two resources now: the devotional book, Bread and Wine, and the book, The Good of Giving Up, written by Aaron Damiani, an Anglican priest.