So the texts this week are Micah 6:1-8, and Matt. 5:1-12
Great texts! I'm beginning a series that will lead up to lent called "Keys to the Kingdom". Since the lectionary gives us the sermon on the Mount until Lent, and the Kingdom of Heaven is a big theme in Matthew, I figured I would string some thoughts together.
A seminary prof. referred to the OT law as a constitution for Israel. Moses descends the mountain and basically reads their new constitution. Then that constitution is read again in Ezra and Nehemiah's day when the temple is being built. It's a gesture saying this will be our rule of life. When Jesus climbs the mountain in Matt. 5 and the crowd follows, a new constitution for a new people is given, one less focused on ritual and formalities and more focused on people and motives. Micah gives an early indication that the first constitution wasn't sufficient. God asks the people if they are wearied by the law and then boils it down to justice, compassion and humility.
The beatitudes tell of what citizenry will look like in the new commonwealth of God: the poor in Spirit, the meek, the mourning, the peacemakers, the righteous persecuted, and those hungering and thirsting for justice. A mix of internal and external traits that comprise those who will get the message that Jesus has to bring.
So the first part of our constitutional study will be citizenry requirements. You can't just be born a citizen. Nor can you earn it. You must be broken and look to God for wholeness. Then you must strive for others who are broken as well.
Thoughts? How about you? What are you preaching this Sunday?