The cross is the way to heaven. Standing for your conviction and for the one you love, God, when God is not who the world generally loves, that will cause all kinds of friction. The beatitudes see heaven as our end goal, the world can’t see past death. To the world, this makes no sense. Suffering makes no sense. Persecution is to be avoided at all cost and not embraced for love of God.
What is a peacemaker? – It is not just an absence of war – It’s linked to justice – peacemakers have to be rooted in justice -what is owed to another person, and to God. Jesus is the perfect peacemaker, because he came to offer his life and death as a sacrifice to make right what was wronged against God, and to heal our relationship with one another. The prince of peace.
We’re culturally quick to assume this beatitude speaks only about sexual purity. We live in a highly sexualised world – AND we have a Christian world that has hyper focused on ‘what not to do’ with our bodies, and has forgotten ‘what to do, to tend to our hearts’.
Our Christian faith hinges on Mercy. God didn’t give us what we deserve, he gifts us mercy. Do we give others better than they deserve? or do we look to get even? to act from a place of self-entitlement? If there is anything we should be known for, it’s people who are merciful, because we follow the model set before us in Christ, our merciful saviour.
Do we notice what someone is owed and hunger for them to receive that?
These include all the major fights for justice we know about – fighting for life, and for freedom, against enslavement of all kinds in countries where it’s obvious the vulnerable are held to work and do things against their will, and in the western world, the vulnerable secretly held trapped in certain life styles resulting from human trafficking
On the Living Fullness Podcast we have begun a series on the Beatitudes and exploring how each of these bring the commandments to fulfilment, creating a path of abundance in this life and the next. This episode particularly focuses on the 1st Beatitude and the various detachments we need to have including what Thomas Aquinas mentions as needing to ‘Despise what Jesus despised on the Cross, and Love what Jesus loved on the Cross’. These detachments include putting all else to the service of God, and ensuring we have our hearts and minds rightly ordered.