Hello friends! Today's reading will be familiar to many of you I suspect not only because most of it has been featured in the other gospels by now but also because it features the beatitudes - some of the most beloved and inspiring (yet challenging) words of Jesus. As you read through this I invite you to write down on one sticky note or somewhere on your phone the one that has meant the most to you in your life and a second note for the one you need to work on the most. For me, Jesus' words on "not judging others" has been a real boon to my life and the way I try to engage with conversations with those I differ from. But, I recognize that I need to work on being a tree that produces good fruit and checking my heart sometimes as to whats coming from it. What sticks out to you?
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this reveal to me about Jesus?
What speaks to me from this text? Why is that?
- Commentary -
I've never actually mentioned it here in one of these blogs but Jesus calling the 12 disciples is a great example of how the Old Testament and New Testament speak to one another. The 12 disciples are meant to model the 12 tribes of Israel - a reaffirmation of the original covenant that God made with God's chosen. What I like about the Lukan account of the calling is that Jesus prays literally all night long trying to decide who to select. I am person that is pretty guilty of going off gut feelings or instinct rather than long and thoughtful discernement. However, Jesus models something different here - that a faithful response and faithful action is well thought out, well baked, and always in prayer and discernment with God. Further, the calling of the disciples in Luke reveals for the first time that Jesus had many disciples following him at that time as it says "Jesus called all of his disciples and selected 12 to be apostles." Further, there is a clear distinction being drawn here for Luke. The path of discipleship leads to apostleship. (if thats even a word) A disciple is one that studies and learns from Jesus but the word apostle is an emissary, literally meaning "to send off" in the greek. What Jesus calls you and I to do is to study and learn from him but eventually take that bold leap of faith to be an emissary for his love - to not just regurgitate his teachings but to imitate him. This is reason number 5 billion that I love Luke's gospel. From a literary perspective it is just...perfect.
Praying the Hymns
You might just know this prayer from our hymnal today (and tomorrow for that matter) and that's the Lord's Prayer. I really think its something of a shame that churches don't sing the Lord's prayer more often. There is something so powerful about music and taking one of the most well known prayers and turning it into a song almost makes it feel new again. Today's is the traditional gregorian version while tomorrow is a fun folk version. For what its worth this entire chant is not in english. We're going classic classic here.