All Saints Day (Matthew 4:25-5:12)
The gospel passage that we usually call the Beatitudes seems to be one of those passages that is ‘trotted out’ for almost any occasion – from weddings to funerals to commitments of ordination and religious profession. But what on earth is it about? What does it mean to say that someone who is mourning is to be declared happy or blessed? Is it telling us that we have to be poor in spirit to be part of the kingdom? That we need to mourn and be meek? Is this a series of yet more commandments that we need to fulfill? Or a new list of ways that we will be judged? Or are these statements something else entirely? Perhaps in these statements from Jesus – addressed to this strange crowd of people from the backwaters of Galilee to the more sophisticated citizens of Judea and Jerusalem, as well as the pagans and gentiles from the Decapolis – we actually meet what is truly good news. An announcement of Jesus that we can indeed be part of the kingdom of God – or maybe that we already are precisely because we are somewhat scattered or simply somewhat ordinary?
Recorded at St Michael’s 6pm (13’40” – including final blessing)