Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Work

Gentlemen may cry “Peace! Peace!” - but there is no peace.
-Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775


Your thoughts? Nay, mine. My ways? Not thine. And yet
My word goes forth, oft in thy hand, to do
All I see fit. Ripe fruit it does beget.
The word, the work, the will are mine and you,

our plans!

You are mine, too. I know when you will rise
And you will set, a star within my sky.
My word went forth, a-lit thine darkened eyes
To see, afore you e’er did think to try

Ive done
I do
I will do
why dont you?

To find me. In surety, peace I labor
From town to town, the reason why I came.
Now still, as then, no fret in me doth stir
For I am Do – all work bows at my name.

I will my work, my world to re-conquest;
My word shall do, so you, in work, can rest.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Or Maybe. . . .

"The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly." -Soren Kierkegaard

Perhaps there really is no ordering to them. Perhaps the Beatitudes really are this easy:

Be humble. God will bless you, and something good involving the kingdom of heaven will happen to you.

Take heart in times of grief. God will bless you and comfort you.

Think of and treat others as more important than yourself. God will bless you, and one day something good will see your inheritance.

Desire what is good. God will bless you, and one day you will see righteousness win.

Give mercy to other. God will bless you and will have mercy on you.

Pursue righteousness. God will bless you, and you will see him.

Work for peace. God will bless you and adopt you as his child.

Stand when you are abused for loving good. God will bless you, and you will receive the kingdom of heaven.

Perhaps in looking for order in the Beatitudes, I am trying to explain away that which is patently clear.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More Beatitudinal Musings

Another, perhaps more conventional, grouping of the Beatitudes would seem to differentiate the first four as describing our oppression while the last five would describe our efforts.

The postures described in v. 3-6 all describe an earthly oppression derived from some lack in this world (spiritual poverty, grief, humility, desire for righteousness). These postures are never ideal by the world's standards, as they involve pain, a lack of happiness and comfort, which one perceives to be the goal of life by mere observation. Christ describes these folks as blessed, however, because in this earthly oppression, one finds the spiritual freedom of blessedness, defined here simply as the reality of God's presence.

The postures described in v. 7-12 all describe efforts one makes in pursuing righteousness (offering mercy, being pure, working for peace, standing amidst persecution, again refusing to bend when persecuted). Christ describes these folks as blessed because they aim to pursue righteousness, to do that which God commands them to do. In their efforts to serve and please God, they become blessed by the reality of his presence in their actions.

One could then conclude from this that God's presence follows us regardless of circumstance. Whether his people find themselves in times of godly dissatisfaction or in times of Kingdom work (and perhaps all times in between?), Jesus has called them blessed, that is living with the reality and knowledge of God's presence in their lives.

Perhaps the Beatitudes simply reveal the truth that God's presense and work in the lives of His people is not chained to circumstance.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Beatitude Thoughts

If you get a chance, take a quick look at the Beatitudes:

Do you think there is any flow or reason to the ordering? Do they each just stand alone as nice postures to be in or is there a grander theme by what is chosen and the order they are chosen in?

What do you think about this:

There are 9. The first 4 seem to argue that those who are blessed are in a posture of need (poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty). The middle one is mercy. Perhaps all 9 turn on the entrance of mercy into the equation. The last 4 seem to argue that those who are blessed are in a posture of righteousness (pure in heart, peacemaking, persecuted, persecuted again).

Could this not be the Gospel? Sin and Recognized Need --> Mercy and Conversion --> New Heart and Sanctification

Am I oversimplifying the ordering or imposing on it what I want to see?