January 25, 2015
Beatitudes, salt of the earth, let your light shine
Every culture has some variation of a hierarchical social structure that is critical, or even unjust to its weakest members. In Jesus’ day, those who were meek, ill, grieving, poor, or perceived as weak were the ones most likely to suffer from social inequities. Jesus came to abolish the hierarchies that caused some to suffer at the hands of others. His sermon on the mountain promised those at the bottom of the social structure that there was a reward for them that would surpass any they could receive here on earth. The gifts of God’s kingdom would be abundant for them. His words gave hope to those who may have long abandoned hope.
This story does not seek to condemn those whose lives appear blessed in the eyes of the world. Instead, it seeks to offer hope to anyone who suffers any affliction of body, mind, or spirit. It encourages us to be kind and gentle to those whose suffering is greater than ours, and gratefully to accept the help and care from those whose suffering is less.
Elim's weekly worship services focus on the Narrative Lectionary, which follows the sweep of the biblical story arranged in a narrative sequence to help us see Scripture as a story that has coherence and a dynamic movement. The arc of Elim's Biblical teachings are rooted in this understanding of scripture.