Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Eighth day of Christmas - The Beatie Cheweds

When I was a very young Christian (about six days in in fact) I was taken to task by some smug lifelong Christian in a flannels shirt and tie because I'd offended him by coming in late and wearing training gear (I'd just come off the water from doing some rowing).

I sat down and opening my Bible found the words 'Judge not lest you be judged yourself' and so went to him and asked him if he'd read the, 'Beatie Cheweds,' to which my superior fellow believer responded (which great accentuation applied), 'You mean Be-At-It-Tudes - and they're in Chapter five, not seven which is where the passage you're talking about is!' And with that put down complete he turned on his heels and left!

Later when I got to know the person better I came to realise that what I had encountered was living proof that light travels faster than sound for despite his appearance, it was once he'd opened his mouth that I discovered that he was one of those smug and obnoxious Christians! Thankfully he went back off to University and the potential thorn from my side was gone, never to return.

So here we are at Day Eight with the eight beatitudes (from the Latin 'beatitudo' - 'Blessed' which is part of the Sermon on the Mount) as found in Matthew Chapter Five (remember the // meaning 'in parallel with one or more Synoptics' - Day Four? They also appear in Luke - but there are indeed only eight of them!)):

'Blessed are:

  1. ...the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5.3)
  2. ...those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5.4)
  3. ...the meek: for they will inherit the earth. (5.5)
  4. ...those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be satisfied. (5.6)
  5. ...the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5.7)
  6. ...the pure in heart: for they will see God. (5.8)
  7. ...the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. (5.9)
  8. ...those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5.10)

(The // comes in to play as the 'blesséds' appear again) in Luke chapter 6 (Sermon on the Plain): 
Blessed are you:
  • ...who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (6.20)
  • ...who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. (6.21a)
  • who weep now, for you will laugh. (6.21b)
  • ...when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of man.(6.22)
And there's four 'Woes' which follow on from verse twenty-three:

'Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets. But woe to you . . :
  • ...who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. (6.24)
  • ...who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. (6.25a)
  • ...who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. (6.25b)
  • ...when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets. (6.26)
So here we are - some very important things, the beatitudes, because they bring two parts together:

The Condition (poor, meek, mourning, etc)


The Result of Jesus becoming man and being in the game for us (receive mercy, get fed, find joy, etc.)

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