Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
- Weekly Pastoral Message -

"Continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" Acts 2:42

Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 11th October 1998

From the Pastor: Beatitudes and PC II

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the Kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3

In recent years school curricula have included courses entitled "Values Clarification" or some variation, or else incorporated some wider subject where moral judgments are involved. Even though the "values" espoused in those courses are not Christian the fact does show that moral values are endemic to the human constitution. If men will not live by God's standards, they will live by their own inventions (Ecclesiastes 7:29).

Our Lord, at the opening of His magnum opus, the Sermon on the Mount, enunciated a series of eight standards, called "Beatitudes", which mark the members of His Kingdom, or new society. As He outlines the ethical demands of life in His Kingdom it becomes clear that His standards are very different from those of the world around, whether of first century Judaism or twentieth century humanism.

To be "poor in spirit" is not a value highly prized in today's world. On the contrary, the assertive, the pushers, the street protesters, those with "high self esteem" are those regarded in the community. PC has no real room for someone who says,

    Nothing in my hand I bring.

Rather, its concerns are elsewhere. Its beatitude is "Blessed are the activists; they shall enjoy social promotion." Yet there is nothing new in this: the world has always seen Jesus' values as wimpish and anaemic. For the Christian, however, the ultimate prize is not the world's limelight but the Kingdom of Heaven, and no-one full of his own esteem will enter that Kingdom. But even in this world, in the longer term, Christ's followers are like the flourishing palm tree, still bearing fruit in old age (Psalm 92:14).


Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
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