"Now when Jesus had finished saying these things the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes." Matthew 7:28-29
After hearing the sermon on the mount referred to a few times this week and spending some time with it I have been stuck on the concluding remarks made in the book in Matthew. I am stuck because I feel as if we forget how radical and powerful Jesus' words are in those three chapters of Matthew. I feel as if we are not astounded enough at the teachings of Jesus throughout the new testament.
Part of this is a guilt trip I have been on for myself. The last 12 months have been crazy. I have been busy, sick, self indulgent, tired, depressed, annoyed, and at times full of myself. I have not been reflective. I have not been receptive. I have not been myself. I am not writing to make excuses for myself but I am writing because it helps me to be reflective of and receptive to the grace that is before me. My life has changed so much in the last 12 months and I have tried to take everything in stride, but this week reality has started to sink in...I am living in Arkansas, getting married, changing seminaries, making new friends, and entering into an entirely new way of life.
This week has been refreshing for me. Church on Sunday, chapel (at my fiancé's place of employment) on Wednesday, church supper and Bible study on Wednesday, and now an entire morning to sit and write. I have been surrounded by scripture and prayer, good conversation, laughter, friendship, and gentle souls. It is in this context that I was reading scripture this morning and came across these closing remarks to the sermon on the mount.
So I pose these questions to myself and to you: When was the last time you were astounded at the teachings of Christ? When was the last time the proclamation of the Word left you in awe? When was the last time you let yourself be receptive to and reflective of the grace of God? What would our days be like if we could do these things daily? Are we scared to let Christ into our lives in this way?
Astonishment, amazement, joy, energy, love, grace, compassion, faithfulness, obedience, life. What would our days look like if we were full of these things because of our attentiveness to Christ's teachings?
My goal this year is to blog 3 days a week based on lectionary texts for the week. It is my hope and prayer that I continue to be astounded by Christ and Christ's teachings. It is my hope and my prayer that I will continue to reflect on God's amazing grace, and receptive to receiving it over and over and over again.
Peace be within you all,