Project Description

5A Isaiah 58:7-10 / 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 / Matthew 5:13-16

Location, Location, Location!!!

We’ve all heard this expression
used in the real estate business.

What are the three most important things to
remember when evaluating property:

1-Location
2-Location
3-Location

Well. . . .
location, location, location
can also be just as an important concept
in interpreting a passage in the Bible.

We know that some of the
saying of Jesus are placed in just the right places—
to emphasize what the saying means.

And today’s Gospel is one of those passages.

It’s about location, location, location.

Jesus tells his followers—
Jesus tell us—
to be the light of the world—
and the salt of the earth.

Light is obvious—
light obliterates darkness.

So where ever there is darkness—
we Christians are to shine the
light of Jesus Christ on the situation.

Light abolishes the darkness!!

And salt?

Salt seasons—
salt flavors—
salt enhances the taste of things—

Salt makes things better!!!

So we Christians are to raise the level—
To raise the quality of every human activity—

To transform them—
To make them better.

What great metaphors that Jesus gives us:

Be Salt—
Be Light.

Now here is where
“location, location, location”
comes in.

Guess what is right before today’s gospel
about us being salt and light—
right before?

The Beatitudes!!!

The Beatitudes!!!

We all know them—

We know how paradoxical they are!!!

We know how surprising they are!!!

We know how novel they are!!!

Happiness. . .
Blessedness. . .
Fulfillment . . .
lies in some strange places according to Jesus. . . .

God’s ways are not our ways.
I’m going to read them slowly so they can sink in.

Blessed, Happy are the poor in spirit . . .

Blessed, Happy are those who mourn . . .

Blessed, Happy are the meek . . .

Blessed, Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness . . .

Blessed, Happy are the merciful . . .

Blessed, Happy are the pure of heart . . .

Blessed, Happy are the peacemakers . . .

Blessed, Happy are those who are persecuted for
the sake of Jesus and His ways—
persecuted for the sake of righteousness.

The Beatitudes!!!

Location, location, location.

So how are some of the most important—
the most important ways—
according to the Gospel—
that we Christians are to be
the light of the world
and the salt of the earth . . .

Live the Beatitudes!!!!!

Be poor in spirit . . .

It’s an interesting phrase isn’t it?!?!?!

What does it mean?

It means to set our own misguided ways aside . . .

It means to admit that God’s ways are better—

It means to follow Jesus and
follow the ways of Jesus.
Be Salt—
Be Light.

Next—
Be mournful . . .

Talk about paradoxical.

Blessed, Happy. . .
are those who mourn.

It means weeping for our own sins—
weeping for our part in bringing
discord and chaos and violence
and division and injustice
into God’s creation.

It means conversion.

And weep for those effected by human sin—

Those exploited—
Those oppressed—
Those lacking of basic resources.

Mourn. . . .
Weep—
For the violence and for the division and for the war.

Then we get up and do something about it,

Blessed are those—
Happy are those—
who become part of the solution.

Be Salt—
Be Light.

Next:
Be meek.

Being meek doesn’t mean being weak—
Oh my, it’s quite the opposite.

It takes much more inner strength to
turn the other cheek—

To forgive—

To love enemies
than to strike out at them.

Remember the appearance of the
triumph of evil is only temporary.

Being meek means placing all our trust in God.
So we can oppose hardness and harshness—
Oppose retribution and violence—
Oppose bitterness and stubbornness.

Be meek like Jesus—
Be light—
Be salt.

Hunger and thirst for righteousness . . .

Hunger to set things right in our own lives. . . .

And hunger to set things right in the world
from the perspective of Jesus.

Pope Francis says that by living the Beatitudes—
Hungering and thirsting for righteousness—
is the only way to rebuild society.

Then comes be merciful. . .

“Be kind to one another—tenderhearted.
Forgive one another as we have been forgiven.”
As St. Paul says. (Ephesians 4:42)

Be merciful and watch hearts melt.

Be merciful and watch Jesus’ heart melt.

Next:
Be pure of heart.

Let the most important thing
be the most important thing.

Put God at the center of our lives and
see how that changes everything.

An impure heart is forever looking at itself
instead of God.

A pure heart—
A pure heart—
put’s God and God’s ways first in their lives.

And I love what Jesus says that pure of heart receive . . .

Blessed, Happy are the pure of heart. . .
for they shall see God.

For they shall see God.

Be peacemakers.

Division is of Satan.

Diabolos,
the Greek word used for Satan,
means a backbiter—

someone who makes charges to bring down—

to throw between—

to cause division.

Christians are gatherers—
Bring people in for a better way of life
and a better world.

Blessed, happy are the peacemakers. . .
for they will be called Sons and Daughters of God.

And lastly,
blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake—

those persecuted for justice—

persecuted for the ways of God.

persecuted for Jesus Who is righteousness itself—

Blessed, Happy are those who go against the crowd—
and stand up for the values of Christ.

That’s how the world is transformed.

That’s how the Kingdom of god is made manifest—
Made visible.

It’s when we’re the light of the world—
It’s when we’re salt of the earth.

Now I started to read the headlines from
the Washington Post this week.

We all know that the Beatitudes they weren’t.

What is going on
on both sides
I see as anti-Gospel. . .
a mockery of Jesus and the ways of Jesus.

To quote Dr. King:
“An eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth
would lead to a world of the blind and toothless.”

So instead I thought I would end
with some other headlines from the Washington Post.

They’re hidden in the back—
but they’re there.

“Arkansas cop buys groceries for family
after dad is charged with shoplifting food”

A couple with a 2 year old and 4 year old
were charged with shoplifting at a Wal-Mart
by not scanning all the items at the self-check out.

The officer who came to take the father to jail said,

“[I know I have to take him to jail.]”

“[But] Ring it all up again so I can pay for it,”

“They’re stealing food,
and they’ve got kids.”

Here’s another one.

“A coffee shop’s owner went into hospice.
His competitor worked there for free to help.”

A coffee shop owner learned that
he had terminal cancer,
and his wife wanted to spend every
second she could by his side.

So their competitor in the coffee business—
Decided to make sure their coffee shop stayed opened—
supplying work for free.

That’s being light—
That’s being salt.

Location, location, location.

It’s being poor in spirit—
And mournful—
And meek—
And righteous—
And merciful—
And pure of heart—
And peacemakers.

Happy, Blessed we’ll be.

And Pope Francis is right—
Living the Beatitudes is the only way to transform society.

Holy Spirit 02/08-09/2020