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Life of BrianFather, seeker, minister, brewer, techie...

Happy are the Merciful

A few years ago when lawsuits across the country were going on over displaying the Ten Commandments in courthouses and other public spaces, author Kurt Vonnegut penned this observation:

“How about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God…

For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.

“Blessed are the merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Pentagon? Give me a break! Read More...

Praying Alone

In chapter 19, Jeremiah has just finished declaring that “this people” and “this city” are like a broken pot that cannot be mended. They are beyond fixing, and beyond hope. Now I invite you to ponder for a moment just how well you think Jeremiah’s words were received by the people, these broken pots beyond repair, as he calls them.

What happens next is that Jeremiah is arrested and declared an enemy of the state for his words. He’s put into stocks at the Upper Benjamin Gate of the temple, which prompts Jeremiah to utter even stronger invective against the people and the wealth of the city. In their eyes, Jeremiah has attacked everything sacred and treasured, claiming that he’s speaking the word of God to them. Read More...
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