Sermon on the Mount

Episode 5

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.

Matthew 5:6

   For most of us if it doesn’t seem to affect me than it simply does not matter.  I like to think that if I had been living in Nazi Germany that I would be among those who spoke up to try to save the Jews.  At the very least I would among those heroes who hid them in the walls of their homes.  But I fear that I would be among those that would keep silent. 

I look at my own character and know that I would never be those that would be throwing rocks and being a party to killing the Jews.  Or is even that just wishful thinking? 

Injustice makes me angry.  But then I wonder who I am angry with?  Experts tell me that anger is a secondary emotion so what is really going on here?  I hate to admit it but as I examine my heart it is fear that currently is the most likely culprit. 

When I watch any of the videos of African Americans being oppressed in small ways or more lethal ways my heart breaks.  Yes, it breaks for the victims.  But it also breaks and makes me wonder if I was there what would I do?  Would I jump in to protect?  Would I raise my voice?  Again I like to think so but I fear that really I a coward.

African Americans are not the only ones facing discrimination in small and large ways across our country.  Consider the assorted American tribes or the Japanese during World War II or even the Chinese during the bubonic plague of 1900.  What am to do?

Would I be like those Germans who looked the other way and determined that they were good because they were not personally committing the atrocities?  I have never seen a study that would prove this but I would hazard a guess that there were more of those not oppressing the Jews than were directly responsible for the holocaust.  They are the powerful and silent majority.  I would also lay out there that there are more white middle age men like me that would never tell a race related joke nor determine that every person from a different race is dangerous.  Yet what are we doing?  What can we do?

What does courage look like? 

  1. If I hunger and thirst for righteousness than when I see things happening that are unrighteous, and I am in a position to do something I must take action.  Talk is cheap.
  2. If I hunger and thirst for righteousness than I must personally live by the Golden Rule

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.  Matthew 7:12

  • If I am a leader and I hunger and thirst for righteousness I must use whatever influence I have to bring healing and restoration to those who are oppressed.
  • If I hunger and thirst for righteousness, I must be willing to sacrifice, humble myself and do whatever it takes to see that those who have been oppressed get back what was stolen from them with interest.

There is likely more that can and should be said but this is where we can start.  Let us respect others even beyond race, those that we disagree with.

  • Those that wear masks and those that don’t.
  • Those that will be vaccinated from Covid-19 and those that won’t.
  • Those that will vote for President Trump and those that will vote for Joe Biden.
  • Those that look and act different than me.
  • Those that sin different than me.
  • Those that live by a different world view than me.
  • Those that marry different than me.

I see no reason why I must agree with everyone (That would be impossible anyway.) But I also don’t see any reason why I can’t at least respect others and treat them the way that I would like to be treated.