I have three blogs … not sure why … so not sure where to post after such a long break. Anyway.
I was on my way to see my spiritual director this week, and had a few minutes spare, so I stopped into a church I found along the way. (St Michael’s, Cherry Burton, East Yorkshire)
Sat in a pew, opened the Bible and started reading Matthew 5.
It suddenly came to me how the beatitudes are progressive – not an original thought, I know, but not one I had ever given a great deal of thought to.
I started thinking for some reason about the 12 step programmes, and how the beatitudes might be similar. (Again, not original I discovered later)
But my take on it is I think a little different.
Step 1 Admit your need
Blessed are … the poor in spirit … or – those who know their need of God
Step 2 Mourn for your sin and the sin in the world
Blessed are those who mourn …
Step 3 Open your heart to God
Blessed are the meek (humble?) those who know that they need God, not just in a crisis, but for the long haul.
Step 4 Change the way you act
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Start to live a life that pleases God. Live to do the right thing in God’s eyes.
Step 5 Change your attitudes
Blessed are the merciful. As you have received God’s grace, so now have the same gracious attitude to others. The life of following Jesus is not just about actions, but attitudes
Step 6 Change your thought life
Blessed are the pure in heart. Purity of heart is a deeper, more challenging way. It is the way to closer communion with God. From the heart come words and actions, good or bad.
Step 7 Share what you have received
Blessed are the peacemakers … the primary way of understanding the gospel is that of reconciliation, peace making. If we are to have an influence for God and for good, then we must be people of peace, and people who make and build peace.
Step 8 Whatever it takes.
Blessed are the persecuted. It is likely that the true disciple will find themselves in conflict with evil. Often it comes in the guise of good.
Maybe we are on a cycle all the time, learning a deeper way of living out each step.