Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Thursday, November 1, 2018

follow means follow

“For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes (Matthew 5). But, often with tears in their eyes, the demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course, that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.
"Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break!”
 Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country
Who listens to sermons anyway?

Probably not that older farmer who gets his daily nap
As I pontificate

Probably not that older woman, whose ears no longer hear
But who comes faithfully and sits in “her pew” anyway

Probably not that younger woman tapping on her cell phone
Or the single mom whose ears are seeking cries of distress from her children

I wonder who listened to Jesus’ words
When he offered the beatitudes

They were raw, uncompromising
They were the blue print for the Jesus Way

But really!?

"Blessed are you who are poor,
Blessed are you who hunger now,
Blessed are you who weep now,
Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil, because you stand up for God

But woe to you who are rich,
Woe to you who are well fed now,
Woe to you who laugh now,
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for their noses are brown”

Luke probably had it right
Jesus was turning the world upside down
The last shall be first
You give to gain
You die to live

Everything we though we know is wrong

Matthew had to spiritualize things (which is why we like him better)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
 Blessed are those who mourn,
 Blessed are the meek,
 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
 Blessed are the merciful,
 Blessed are the pure in heart,
 Blessed are the peacemakers,
 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you    
     because you hold fast to my way…

But still!
Heavy stuff

Not for the faint of heart

Not for the fearful
Or the greedy
Not for those who love power
Not for those who are selfish

If we really followed this stuff
We could not be Republicans
Nor could we be Democrats
Nor could we wrap ourselves in the flag

If we really followed this stuff
We would have to be totally different

And that is the point

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