There’s been some noise in the media recently about what it means to bless something. It is an expression of approval? Is it an affirmation of right-ness? Or is it simply bringing God into a situation with the expectation and desire that he will be the light and guide for the future (which, of course, leaves open the possibility that he does not approve and will lead in another direction). I suppose we really desire of these things: we like approval because it takes away shame; we need to know we’re right because the alternative is that we’re wrong; and if we believe in God we really want him to guide us into the future is. So why does the world (the media) care so much about what the church blesses? Maybe it is because whatever vestige of faith remains, it desires the Established God of England to affirm the Laws and Sensibilities of England – because the alternative is a big Oops.
But then we open our Bibles and find that God’s concept of right and wrong doesn’t always match what our culture and society expect. Is that a problem? And if it is, what shall we do?
Today we begin a series on the Sermon on the Mount, beginning with the Beatitudes – where Jesus talks about poor, mourning, meek, hungry, merciful, pure, peace-making, persecuted people – who Jesus declares are blessed.