Sermon on the Mount…

I’ve been studying the Sermon on the Mount with some regularity for quite a few months. I spoke at a camp this summer, August, and shared some of my initial thoughts on the Sermon on the Mount. Specifically I shared thoughts on the beatitudes, and what it means to be salt and light. I confessed to my congregation (the camp) that these were initial thoughts and that the Sermon on the Mount was really working me over and giving me a hard time.

I continue to study it. Currently I am reading some of St. Augustine’s thought and some his old sermons on our Lord’s sermon. I’m reading some studies by John Scott and still thinking HEAVILY about the words offered to me by Dallas Willard, NT Wright and Brain McLaren.

BUT STILL… The Sermon on the Mount is hard! It’s been hard to study, it’s been hard to land on an idea, a theology, a simple reading that I feel confident in when it comes to The Sermon on the Mount.

So I continue to study, read and now, listen to thoughts on The Sermon on the Mount.

I say, “and now listen” because just this past weekend I listened to a couple sermons from Mars Hill Bible Church on The Sermon on the Mount. First Rob Bell on “Blessed are the poor in spirit” and “Blessed are the meek”. And also Father Sirico who preached on “Blessed are those who mourn” which he cleverly entitled “Whistling past the grace”.

The messages were REALLY good. REALLY encouraging. And really on (if you ask me). Maybe not conventional readings, interpretations, or messages on this famous message of Jesus but very good in my opinion.

And to me very affirming.

I preached a message on what it means to be “blessed” (which I previously blogged about). I made the point that I think blessing (largely based on Jesus’ usage of the word) might be more about God’s presence than it is about God’s gifts. Rob, in quoting Fredrick Dale Bruner says, “To understand blessed it to understand a divine ‘I am with you’” and in his message Rob translates the term “fortunate” instead of blessed. I love it!

Well I would encourage you to listen to a few of these messages. Be encouraged that even at your lowest God is with you, i.e. you are blessed!

Grace and peace Erik