Feedback on Matthew 5 from LRG
You point listeners to the complete "righteousness" that is to be
found in Christ alone. This gospel reality can save us from the
self-righteousness and perfectionism that is too chracteristic of us
church types. I appreciate your take on the beatitudes not as a program
for making ourselves acceptable, but for trusting wholly in the "One who
is finally the subject of the sermon on the mount...God's pronouncement
of blessing is on Him". You sum it up succintly in your concluding
Your honesty in dealing with the reality of pain and failure is
refreshing. Too often we preachers give the impression that perfection
or something close to it is required of disciples. Your acknowledgment
of divorce, bereavement, etc tells listeners that they too are able to
participate in the faith community. The Emmaus commissioning that was
part of the sermon serves as a living illustration of what you were
You focus on the beatitude, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
for righteousness, for they shall be filled. You wisely deal with the
term righteousness and the possible negative connotations and
misunderstandings. The emphasis on commitment-keeping and humility
steers us away from self-righteousness, and your concern for the social
dimension corrects the privatistic tendencies of our time. Good closing:
How hungry are you?
The beatitudes are susceptible to an overly privatistic interpretation,
so I like how you have tied them in with the felowship and community
life of the church and Christian friendship. It's good to remind our
folks, as you have done, that relationships are always in transition but
they can endure through frienship with God.
Thanks for this powerful message to preachers. It is a real reminder
that we have good news to tell.
The beatitudes as a description of life in the new kingdom of God.
Korea offers a potent analogy of two vastly different realms side by
side. Crossing from one to the other is very difficult. I was very moved
by the explanation of receiving an honored name in Kores.