Monday Morning Pastor – 1/1/17

January 2, 2017
Note: This is the first entry in what will be a recurring series entitled “Monday Morning Pastor.” Each week we will have a guest writer who will share a few of their personal thoughts on Sunday’s sermon. Unlike Monday Morning Quarterbacking, from which this series gets its name, we aren’t looking to critique so much as share how we have been personally impacted. If you have interest in contributing to this series please contact Dave Hallahan.

Title: Beatitudes
Scripture: Luke 6:20-26

This Sunday, Pastor Mark started a new series called The Words of Jesus: A Study from Luke. We began this study looking at Luke’s version of the Beatitudes. A parallel account is found in Matthew 5. There’s a lot packed into both this sermon and this section of scripture, but I’ll just highlight two things that really struck me as I was listening.

  • “When Jesus speaks he’s trying to remake you. His words have the power to undo all that you once held as true.”

What a powerfully true statement. We have the words of Jesus at our fingertips. Of course all of scripture is important and valuable, or, as Paul says in Timothy, inspired. But there is added significance to the red words. I encourage people all the time, if you don’t know where in the Bible to start reading, start with the red words. I spent much of last year reading, studying and thinking through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. The words of Jesus have power. God’s most direct communication with humanity was in the person of Jesus Christ and his words have been preserved for us. If nothing else, maybe one thing we can all take from this message is to be reminded of the transformational power of Jesus’ words. We can take that reminder and act on it. Start reading through the words of Jesus.

  • “The economy of the Kingdom of God is different than the economy of this world.”

Reading through Jesus’ words is tremendously challenging. So much so, that I think at times I, and probably others, over spiritualize Jesus’ words to the extent that they are no longer practical. I convince myself that what Jesus says has some deep spiritual truth, but he couldn’t actually mean what he said. It just doesn’t work in this world. “Blessed are the poor…blessed are the hungry…blessed are you who weep…blessed are you when people hate you…” This guy can’t be serious right? I’m sure there’s truth in there, but it can’t be the plain meaning of what he’s saying. Because in the world I live in #blessed doesn’t normally follow tweets about overdue utility bills, missed meals, tears for a lost loved one or being rejected. The people I look up to and envy are the ones with the nicest homes, best vacations and most friends. I guess what Jesus means is all of those things will never make me happy on their own, what I need to be happy is all of those things AND Jesus.

But deep down I believe, and call me crazy, that Jesus actually meant what he said. There’s no hidden spiritual message here. The economy of the Kingdom of God is so different to the economy we are used to living in that its unrecognizable. It seems like an unattainable hyperbole. But, as Pastor Mark said, this is the economy that will remain. At some point only one way of living will remain. It will not be the American way. Or the Chinese way. Or the Russian way. It will be The Way. Jesus has called us to bring that ultimate reality into this present one. Pastor Mark challenged all of us by asking, “by which economy will you live this year? By which economy will you measure this year?” It’s a good question. One that we need to ask ourselves on daily, if not moment-by-moment, basis.

 

Listen to the full sermon here