Building A Sanctuary of Transformation

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Blessed with Good Life

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 by Fr. Mark in Blog&Christian Spirituality
What times in which we live! A growing liberal, post-modern, post-Christian trend of truth being relative to however one wishes to define truth has come to a raucous halt for clarity when now new leaders are engaged speaking, passing laws and leading the nation. More than in any transition of presidential administrations that I can recall — and there have been some bumpy and noisy transitions– the hue and cry is louder this time. I think there is too much cry and not enough listening.
Words matter, because words actually mean something specific. There isn’t in any dictionary a footnote to each word defined which reads, “This word may also mean whatever you want it to mean.”  That would truly be relativism!  As I watch and read the news, I find myself trying to take in more deeply (and I hope with more wisdom) what truly (ahem…) underlies the motives for those crying for sudden clarity when such a short time ago so many people wanted broadly defined realities for national life.
Words matter. When Jesus began to teach, as recorded in Matthew’s gospel, he focused on words that describe what transformed lives are, as well as what they go through in the process of being transformed by God. The words have often become so familiar to many people, and they are *lovely*, that maybe they have lost the impact for you that Jesus intended. In that light, I offer you “The Message” version of the Beatitudes, from Matthew 5:
When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are-no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world-your mind and heart-put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
“Not only that-count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens-give a cheer, even!-for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
It is true– painfully true: there is no “transformation” or “understanding God” without actually going through the pain of the loss of what you thought you knew and who you thought you were.  But in coming to the end of one’s rope, in finding God provide when no source could be seen, in speaking the truth and being bullied in return, the follower of Jesus realizes that Jesus called you to follow in real life, not just earthly, secular, successful life. The reality of God’s Kingdom in Christ confronts the reality of the world in its wisdom and wealth. In that clash stands us, the Church. You’ll be ok. Let your Lord keep your mind and heart loving and gracious, speak the truth, serve those in need around you, and whether you prosper in worldly wealth or not, give a cheer! Following God was never supposed to be easy. It was supposed to be life, and life with God is good.

Grace & Peace,

Mark+

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Anglican Mission logoChrist The King Anglican Church embodies the Three Streams of the historic Christian Church: The Scripture (Evangelical stream), The Sacred (the Sacramental stream) and The Spirit (the Charismatic stream).   We are happy to belong to The Anglican Mission: A Society of Mission and Apostolic Works. The Mission.  The Mission began in December 1999, and it has been the leader in establishing new churches and ministries in an Anglican heritage across North America. In recent years, The Mission has grown to include many overseas works, including The Anglican Mission: India.

We’re committed to believe and trust Jesus Christ, to be directed by His Spirit, and to trust in His Holy Scripture as our standard in matters of faith and practice. Everyone who is at Christ the King now was once a visitor and decided to make this his or her church home. We hope you will consider making the same decision! If you are interested in church membership or more information, please call the church office at (408) 770-2260.

 

3DM logoWe are strategically partnered with a like-minded discipleship training group known as 3D Movements, or 3DM (originally, 3 Dimension Ministries). You can learn more at http://3dmovements.com/

 

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