The Beatitudes conclude with the twin topics of Peacemaking and Persecution. What is the connection? As we shall see, the connection is quite straightforward: those people who have entered the Kingdom of God have a whole new life mission: peacemaking. And one sure sign that we are participating in that mission is the persecution God's people inevitably receive. Join us this Sunday as we conclude our 5 week study of the Beatitudes.
What does it mean to be "pure in heart?" Does it mean perfection? Is it attainable? Or does this Beatitude just cause us frustration at our own "imperfection" and "impurity"? Today we discuss how "purity of heart" is really about our "single-mindedness" when it comes to life in the Kingdom of God. As Soren Kierkegaard wrote: "Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing." A pure hearted person is one who has focused their whole life, their whole being upon Jesus Christ and his kingdom. A pure hearted person is not divided or distracted. A pure hearted person has also learned to turn away from any idols that may distract us from our one and only goal: to live a life under Christ's loving rule. Join us this Sunday as we explore the sixth Beatitude: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
The final four beatitudes tell us something that we all have longed to hear, but didn't dare to hope: a healed, transformed, and renewed life IS possible! Upon entering the Kingdom of God (Beatitudes 1-4) we now begin to see how our whole lives are transformed (Beatitudes 5-8). When Jesus declares, "Blessed are the merciful..." he is challenging us: Shouldn't we, who have received such mercy from God, not eagerly show mercy to others? When we do, we will discover that God's mercy transforms us into people of mercy. And the result? Healed relationships, forgiven hurts, and compassionate outreach for others. Join us as we continue our exploration of the world famous Beatitudes.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness," Jesus said. But what is this "righteousness" he's talking about. Is it "my" righteousness? Is my righteousness enough to earn me favour with God? Or, is Jesus talking about something else completely? Join us this week as we continue our study of the beatitudes. Today we discover that hungering for righteousness is the critical step in entering God's kingdom.
The Beatitudes Video
The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-11) are some of the most familiar and important words Jesus ever spoke. After all, this is how he began his most important sermon: the Sermon on the Mount. Yet for all their familiarity, they are still confusing to us: How are the poor blessed? Why are the meek blessed? And the persecuted? Those who mourn??? If we are going to understand the meaning behind these words, then we are going to have to do some deep thinking and study. Join us this February as we delve into these crucial, mysterious words of Christ.
Canon Robert Hurkmans has been the minister at St. James and St. Brendan since 2006.