This Sunday Reconciler is joining our host church and the other two churches that worship in the space for a All Saints worship service. I am not preaching, in fact all I have to do is show up. Which is kind of nice. The reflectin to follow then would be in prep for a sermon if I was preaching.
The Gospel for the feast of All Saints is Luke's Sermon on the plain. At the moment I am thinking about the blessings and the woes. Each week there is a Lectio Devina on Wednesday night around the Gospel text for the coming Sunday, During Lectio strangely I was sensing great hope in Jesus' pronouncement of the woes. I sat with this and have been sitting with this today as well. I have generally understood and generally heard the Beatitudes (and woes) spoken of in static terms. There are those who are being blessed by these words and those who are being cursed by the woes. These are classes of people and you want to be in the class of the blessed of course. What I began to hear in the woes was a call to not attempt to escape poverty or morning if one is rich and happy, etc.
More particularly woe to you who laugh for you will mourn, resounded in me as a call to mourn to accept the "curse" in a sense, and then it dawned on me that if I accept the mourning as one who laughs, I then become the one who mourns, and am blessed with comfort, which then may cause me to laugh, which should then send me back into mourning. This is a spiral of shalom and not violence. There is Judgement here only if I try to stop the movement attempt to stand unchangingly as the one upon whom blessing or woe is pronounced. And woe to me if in any way I may be found as the one who laughs, rich, or all speak well of- The static frozenness of such an attempt to be simply have the good things without regard of others is the place of judgement. Jesus calls us in the sermon on the mount to an openness and a dynamism that is life and pronounces death upon those who have no life in them and have become stone.