Beatitudes – Upside-down Wisdom
This past Sunday we had a very inspirational service celebrating the life changing power of walking in the universal ways of Jesus. Following the service, we had a lively discussion about who we are, (the state of our union in a sense) and about God’s unfolding and life giving vision for us, as Progressive Christians, living in this exciting and changing era of Post Christendom.
Join us this Sunday as we explore and discuss the unconventional wisdom of the Beatitudes, and celebrate a different kind of “Souper” Bowl, to share our food with those in need in Alameda County!
As a wisdom teacher, Jesus taught his disciples with puzzling parables, pithy aphorisms, and challenging questions, inviting them to discover a new way of living by engaging his many questions. When the young lawyer asked what he had to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus did not recite the law, but answered Semitic-style with yet another question, and proceeded to lead the lawyer through more questioning into his story of the Good Samaritan. The story turned upside-down the conventional wisdom of the day about the limits of neighbor love, inviting the lawyer and all of us listeners ever since to expand our own capacity for compassion.
Conventional wisdom also gets turned upside-down in the beatitudes by Jesus daring to name the poor, the meek, and the mournful as the blessed ones. What could be blessed about poverty or grief? Is this simply the promise of a better day by-and-by, when we die? Do the beatitudes describe some future reward for suffering now? If blessing is a good thing, it would seem that common sense, and the economic and political norms of first-century Palestine (and twenty-first-century America) tell us that the wealthy bear the signs of blessing, and the powerful, not the meek, own the earth today and will keep it tomorrow. So what kind of blessing is there, and who are the poor in spirit? What is Jesus talking about? Let’s talk about it this Sunday!
Thanks for making this a happening, welcoming and vibrant place!