Sunday, February 2, 2014

In Scoring Position

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
on Matthew 5:1-12, "The Beatitudes"

The Super Bowl. Annual Football contest since 1966, versing this year's National Football Conference champions against this year's American Football Conference champions... highest score wins.
“Scoring position” kinda depends on last few minutes of play, whether you're ahead, or behind...
I watched the Marshall men's basketball yesterday... with 1 minute left in the game, the Herd was down 54-60... not in position to win. All the opponents had to do was hold the ball, pretty much.
Most points wins defines 21st century culture.
Problem: limited scope. Reinforces a false system that defines “the best” each year, reduces a person (team) to one thing...
How many teams made it to SB in the last five years, including today? Ten.
Today's scripture: the “Beatitudes”... blessed are... happy are... congratulated are... “makarios”... these are not rankings of “the best” as we know it...
In fact, the Beatitudes are kind of counter-cultural...
Instead of sports ranking me vs. other,
Beatitudes describes me with respect to the kingdom of God...

Sports says: Me vs. you. You vs. the world.
“religion” says: Me vs. standard. Me vs. “the Law.”
Kingdom (Beatitudes) says: Me WITH God, Me WITH others.

Beatitudes are not commands (do this and live) but descriptions (those who live are this) and words of encouragement, reframing circumstances for the low
The kingdom of God is who you ARE
and not what you do, what you can or cannot or should or should not DO,
not how you score, but who you are.
Beatitudes don't rank us. Ranking others shouldn't be our priority/worldview.
God gives grace instead.
You are a child of God... and so are they.
You are redeemed by God & there's no competition between you & others.
Jesus is not against you (as the Seahawks are against the Broncos today)
Jesus is for you, Jesus died for you, Jesus gives himself for you
and asks that you give yourselves for others...

directly into communion liturgy

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