Reflections on Matthew 5:1-14 from Sunday 6 February 2011
Jesus turns the Ten Commandments upside down.
Rather than starting at the top, with God,
he issues blessings beginning at the bottom --
for the poor, the mourning, the powerless and the put down.
All our humble human hungers are blessed
with the promise of provision for paupers
with hands outstretched.
Jesus rubs salt into the wounds of our mortality,
making them raw and clean,
so that we can hurt, and heal.
And so that we can become light.
The second set of blessings are the ones we bring
as we own our earthy saltiness,
our blood, sweat and tears.
Then we can give mercy,
for we have tasted it.
Then we can see with the clear eyes of the heart,
for in this way, we have been seen.
Then we can extend the hand of peace,
for we have been lifted up and embraced by God.
Then we courageously and joyfully
risk body, soul, mind and spirit
for we have feasted our whole beings
at Christ's table
and at God's.
Thus we have been woven together,
salt and light,
into the fabric of universe,
into which all things are interwoven.
J. Philip Newell writes in Christ of the Celts(ix,x)
The growing consciousness is that life is interwoven, that reality is a web of interrelated influences, and that what we do to a part we do to the whole. So who is Christ for us now?...He is leading us not into a separation from the world and the rest of humanity, but into a renewed relationship with the Ground of Life, the One from whom all things come.
It is a delicate fabric that glistens,
like crystals of snow in sunlight,
like crystals of salt seen up close.