Some thoughts on The Sermon on the Mount, given at Morning Prayer:
We’re very familiar with the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus sat and taught the crowds, but Jesus is doing more than just telling us how we should behave.
This is an announcement, a manifesto, a policy document, if you like, about what the Kingdom of God is like, and how our world is going to change.
In the new era of God’s kingdom those who know their need of God ad how much they must depend on him will be blessed because they will have all their needs met by the one who is totally reliable.
Those who mourn and are weighed down by grief and sadness will find comfort beyond their wildest dreams and an end to all their suffering.
The meek are those who are gentle, humble, trusting of God and obedient to him, those who know who they are and are true to themselves, those who refrain from using their power to harm others. These will reign in God’s kingdom, instead of those who fight to get their own way with arrogance, violence and abuse of power.
Those who long to see goodness and righteousness triumph over evil, those who reach out to help others in compassion, those who stand up for the weak and defenceless, those who weep over the pain and suffering even of people unknown to them, these will see their dreams come true.
Those who show mercy even to their enemies and those they don’t understand, those who remember how much mercy has been shown to them and share this with others, they will continue to find all the mercy they need from the God who loves to offer forgiveness and grace.
The pure in heart, those whose hearts and minds are free and simple, those genuinely seeking after God and looking for goodness and love, these will find everything they are searching for in God’s kingdom, and it will never be taken away from them.
In God’s kingdom those who work for peace, those who break down walls and barriers, who dare to try to end cycles of violence and revenge, those who build instead of destroying, and speak gently instead of shouting, these will be recognised for who they are: children of God, doing what their Father does.
And the persecuted, those who have been tested and tried in the fire of violence, torture and death, and have proved that their love and faith are genuine and lasting, these will find honour and justification and a new home with the God who heals all wounds and rewards all service.
And for all who suffer because of Jesus, who hold on to him regardless of cost and look forward with hope and faith to the coming kingdom, there are rewards, comfort and goodness beyond our imagining.
For in the kingdom of God this world’s values will be turned around, and it’s not the rich, powerful, wealthy, pushy and strong who will conquer but those who love, follow and trust in Jesus, all the way into his kingdom.