Scriptures follow the suggested weekly readings of Brian McLaren in We Make the Road by Walking (click here for reference and library). We are one week behind his course in reading through the Sermon on the Mount during Lent. Next week, we will combine chapters to be on schedule for Easter.
This week, we grounded our reflection on the opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount in the the work of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services. Click the link to see the video we watched as a congregation. Explore the LIRS website for more video testimonials and opportunities to advocate for refugees and immigrants. Our congregation designated this agency to receive a portion of our Christmas Eve offering.
Brian McLaren, like many a scholar and preacher before him, interprets these words of Jesus as proclamation rather than prescription. I do to. The emphasis is squarely on the identity of God's people, not on a program of redemption. That's not to take a way from the call to stand in a particular place. Refer to his chapter, A New Identity, for a closer read of the quote I offer in the sermon. It's a helpful paraphrase of the Beatitudes in contemporary language.