Friday, April 2, 2010

Teachings of Jesus

Fourth in a series of Holy Week posts...

I decided to do these Holy Week posts because of one sentence I heard last week in church: "All of Jesus's life was leading up to this week."

Well, in a chronological sense, I suppose that's true. All of my life was leading up to this week. About 12:30 all my life will have been leading up to lunch. Later this afternoon all my life will have been leading up to a jog.

I don't think that's what was meant. It would have been much easier for me if it was. A bit mundane, perhaps, but easier.

I find the emphasis on Jesus's last days very troubling. To me, it's as if we said that Ghandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were only important because of the way they died. By emphasizing Jesus's death so much, I think we miss out on what we can learn from his life.

And that's a lot.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus taught us to look at the world differently--to concern ourselves not with those in power but rather with those who were in need. He emphasized Torah and tikkun olam and worked to revitalize religion. He taught us not to be afraid of saying what we believe is right, even if there are scary consequences.

I believe in that.

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