Words to Build a Life On:
Our sermon series is exploring Words to build a LIFE on
Basic phrases from Holy Scripture that can become the building blocks
Of a faithful life.
Today we’re going to listen to Jesus’ first sermon
from the Gospel of Matthew.
Its a good reading to pair with this vision from John of Patmos
In the book of Revelation,
God showering his blessings on those whom have come
Through the great ordeal
People from every language and culture and place.
The reading from Matthew
People sometimes refer to it as the Sermon on the Mount.
Its Matthew’s way of starting Jesus off
on his ministry of healing and teaching
and inviting people
to see God’s very presence, God’s active presence
in the world around them.
We call this the realm of God
or the Kingdom of God.
Jesus starts all of that with the Sermon on the Mount
and the Sermon on the Mount starts with the Beatitudes
or a declaration of blessing.
Listen this morning for God’s word to us:
5When Jesus saw the crowds,
he went up the mountain;
and after he sat down,
his disciples came to him.
2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 ‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8 ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 ‘Blessed are you when people revile you
and persecute you
and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward is great in heaven,
for in the same way
they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
And may God bless to us
Our Reading, and our understanding
And our Applying these words, to how we live our lives. Amen.
What makes for a good life?
Well, sometimes the most sought after symbols of the so-called “good life”
Are the most unattainable.
So reports the Wall Street Journal,
Describing the lengths some people are willing to go to obtain
A cell phone number with Manhattan’s 212 Area Code.
It used to be that area codes were geographic:
I grew up in Saint Louis’ 314 area code,
and went to college in Central Iowa’s 515.
Now, with cell phone technology
it doesn’t matter if you live in California or New Jersey,
in Kansas City or Peoria—
–if you want to be seen as “having what it takes”—
–you get a New York City 212 area code. So says the Wall Street Journal.
This isn’t that new.
There is a classic Seinfeld episode
Where Elaine manipulates the timely death of her neighbor, Mrs. Krantz
As an opportunity to get Krantz’ existing 212 number
instead of having to get one with a newer 646 exchange.
But, Its not just the stuff of television fiction, apparently.
Some people are going to great lengths in manipulating the system
to obtain a “212” no matter where they are.
One media consultant says:
“Since your phone number is quite literally your calling card,
those numbers can say a lot about you,
no matter where you actually are located.”[i]
That’s one approach to the good life.
Larry Richardson had a different approach. [Read more…]