Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Beatitudes in the Modern Day: Are We Making Progress?, by Larry Savage

Last summer and again this week, I have been reading the Beatitudes with a critical awareness of what they mean today in the context of our Stepping Stones Journey.

Now, when I use the phrase “critical awareness” I have to admit that I am a pretty blunt instrument for scholastic discernment. I am very comfortable reading a shop manual for fixing something mechanical. Particularly if the manual uses large print and has lots of pictures of greasy fingers pointing at the mechanical component with which I am troubled.

But, interpreting or discerning something important like the Beatitudes as background for our Missional Transformation…that’s different. But, here goes.
Frankly, I see great hope and progress.

In the modern day, I see momentum building for change. In our community, our lives are not at risk if we raise our Christian light. Some safe guards are in place to protect those that are at risk. Are there enough safeguards? No, but we are making progress.

On the macro scale, look at the paradigm shift (not my favorite word… “big” works for me) in the Middle East! Are people putting their lives on the line to make fundamental change happen? Ask the people on the ground in Libya.

How about us at Sunnyside? How do we show our Christian light? What does it mean to be in “contrast” with our community? The concept is a little uncomfortable for me. I am a little troubled about making a big show. We already do lots of good in our local community. My participation on the Social Ministries Committee has opened my eyes to how many Sunnysiders are involved with good works locally and internationally.

Yet, we need to look at our community and the world with a commonly accepted, Sunnyside vision of what we can do to help build momentum toward the simple task the LORD asks us of us…do justice…love kindness…walk humbly with our God.

My hope is that the Stepping Stones Journey will give each of us a clearer vision of how we, as individuals and collectively, can carry our small lights forward building momentum. We must join hands in Christian community and perform acts of discipleship.


  1. I always like Larry's blog entries. He is always hesitant to post or say much but when he does he enlightens the rest of us. Larry and I will be facilitating the discussion after worship on Sunday. We hope you can join us.

  2. OK, this is my fist blog EVER, so go easy on me. Leave it to my church to always stretch me.
    What a great reflection on the beatitudes after a wonderful Ash Wed. service. I left the service (quietly) reflecting on what is it God is calling me to consider and perhaps "re-set" during lent. (To be honest, it was even tough to be quiet.) I appreciate Larry's thoughts and it helped remind me that when lacking in direction for myself I am missing the point that it is not mine to determine, but God's will for me. A great place to start is considering the passage for Sunday and how it speaks to me. So I begin my "critical awareness" reading of the passage. Good challenge Larry!!
    As far as the answer to "Are We Making Progress?" I guess my answer is just sometimes. There is still plenty left for us as a church and us as a people to do. Hence my overwhelming challenge in hearing what God is calling for me to do when there is so much to choose from.
    Back to my "critical awareness" reading...

  3. Juliend89 is Julie Schwartz

    Sorry I'm new at this.


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