Happy Friday High Places!
This Sunday we will be kicking off what is probably going to be a four or five month journey into what bible scholars have named, "The Sermon on the Mount." It's Jesus first sermon that we have written down in the Gospels, and it is the longest stretch of uninterrupted teaching we have from Jesus in the Bible. That leads most of us to conclude that this really was a sermon that he preached and that years later the disciples tried to remember as much as they could, then starting writing it down. How exciting is that?!?
We're going to start in Matthew 5 with the beatitudes. Our first beatitude is --
"Blessed are the destitute, because God's kingdom belongs to them." --Dave's translation, or as you may have heard it before in the King James version -- "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the Kingdom of Heaven."
Imagine starting a sermon with a line like that! "Wait, blessed are the who!?!?? Jesus is off his rocker," they must have thought. "What a way to ruin a good preaching career," some probably said. Why on earth would anyone believe being destitute is a blessing? Given that the word blessing actually means "happy prosperity" what Jesus was actually saying was that people in the most desperate poverty were actually prosperous because everything God has is theirs. Whoa, that's kind of deep.
We will unpack this first beatitude together Sunday at 10:30 AM. Please don't let the snow scare you off! :)
Speaking of snow, as a general rule we will be there unless the roads are particularly treacherous. We ask that no one take any risks outside their comfort zone when driving in winter weather. Some of us live in the valley and don't get much of anything, even when the top of the ridge gets a couple of inches. Any time our main meeting is called off, I will post it on FB and send out an email by no later than 9:30 AM.
Alright! Now that we've covered that, let me once again say we are off to an amazing start in 2019. There is a sweet spirit and an energy around many different things right now, from the new matching campaign, to interactions with our community groups, to new teams forming and people volunteering. God's working!
Please keep Don Pattison, and David, in your prayers as Don settles into hospice care and all that follows. Pray for comfort, alleviation of pain, courage, and for God's presence to fill home and hearts. As always, keep our church, our staff, and the many who are in community with High Places and our ministries, in your prayers.