The Parish of Burchetts Green

This month Rev Keith writes

called to be christlike

I would encourage you to spend quality quiet time with the Beatitudes as Bishop Steven advocates and as the year progresses there will be opportunities to explore these themes together. It is the Bishop's prayer and mine that as we do so we will be renewed in hope, vision and joy.

The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-10

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he

went upon a mountainside and sat

down. His disciples came to him, and

he began to teach them.

He said:

'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 be shown 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

because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Simple but life changing

The Bishop of Oxford, Steven has recently written to invite every church, chaplaincy, small group and school to do something very simple but life changing- to read, study and dwell in the opening words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: the Beatitudes in Matthew 5: 1-10.

Believing that we stand in a critical moment of history Bishop Steven calls us to catch a fresh vision of Jesus - the Beatitudes, he says, are a self- portrait of Jesus and show us that to be more N Christ-like we need to become more contemplative, compassionate and courageous. I summarise some of his thoughts below:

Spending time with God

To be contemplative means to spend more time with Cod - it is as simple as that. We need to come humbly before the Almighty, in prayer, in Bible reading, and in worship.

Concern for others

To be compassionate means to show sympathy and understanding of others.The compassionate church will lament with the suffering of the world and be ready for positive action.

Being wholehearted

Courageous people are whole-hearted for justice, peace and reconciliation and will be willing to offer a bold witness to the Christian faith.

Steven hopes that as we dwell on Matthew 5:1-10 God will open our eyes to the many good things that are happening and rekindle our vision and imagination as we look forward. The Beatitudes, he says, are all about the kingdom of heaven, God's vision for human life - life in all its fullness.