Epiphany Week 8 (Year C): Litany for the Hard Teachings

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This week’s Lectionary covers 1 Corinthians 15, and a continuation of Luke 6, the Sermon on the Plain. Like the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, Luke’s account contains some of Jesus’ most radical and counter-cultural teachings… themes religion has historically not applied or taught well. Instead of embracing non-judgement and non-duality, the church became famous for condemnation. Instead of loving enemies, the church aligned itself with warring powers.

These are hard teachings, especially for Western ears to hear. Especially for wealthy, privileged Americans to hear. We need these universal spiritual teachings in front of our eyes and in our ears, penetrating our consciousness anew in these times.




God, some of the teachings we received from Christ are difficult
Asking us to practice counter-cultural ways of being.

So much of us must die
To become alive.
So much of what we desire must be let go
For us to truly receive it…



Epiphany, Fourth Sunday: Litany for How to Live

This week’s Lectionary passages are heavy hitters. Micah 6 and The Beatitudes in particular.

 

Jesus, we hear your voice and receive the intention of your heart when you said
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you
For great is your reward in heaven. (1)
 
(pause)

When you uttered those words, you upended the paradigm of the world.
Help us to understand what it all means:
What once looked like power to us
Now appears weak.
What once looked like wisdom
Now appears foolish. (2)
What once took last place in our priorities,
Now appears first.

What does the Lord require of us?
     To do justice,
     To love mercy,
     To walk humbly with God. (3)
Who may dwell with God?
     Those who walk blamelessly.
     Those who do what is right,
     Those who speak truth. (4)

We want our eyes opened, our spirits awakened
To the beauty of the Kingdom of God here now.
Teach us how to live well upon the earth;
Humble, gentle, and pure of heart.

Amen

(1) Matthew 5
(2) 1 Cor 1:27
(3) Micah 6:8
(4) Psalm 15:1,2