During February we focus on the Sermon on the Mount. It begins with Beatitudes, a series of blessings for broken, vulnerable, marginal people who are each valued in the currency of God’s reign. Often we end with the last blessing, but carry on – “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.”
This community, that for many has no value, Jesus calls to be salt and light – a blessing to the world. Then spells out what it means to live as a community of blessing – a people who are reconciled, honour their vows, engage in non-violent resistance, love enemies, give generously (but quietly), pray and fast, treasure God’s way and are known by their good fruit. It is a radical way of living that has inspired many including Ghandi who said that if all he knew of Christianity was the Sermon on the Mount then he would be a Christian, but “much that passes for Christianity is a negation of the Sermon on the Mount.” Can we be part of such a Community of Blessing?
The prayers we use for Communion at Ansty Road take us in that direction.
Where hate dwells may love delight in truth.
Where sadness resides may joy overwhelm.
Where discord exists may peace be kissed.
Where anger disrupts, may patience quietly smile.
Where cruelty inhabits, may gentle kind humanity sparkle.
Where corruption destroys, may creation bring goodness.
Where falseness nests, may faithfulness sing glad tidings.
Where war-makers abide, may gentleness bring blessing.
Where instability roosts, may temperance bring strength.
May we be blessed as we explore these blessings