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Beatitudes Series 1 -10th Sunday After Pentecost - August 6, 2023

We’re coming upon something…I don’t know if you’ve noticed…you probably have. Surely, I’m not the only one. But we are – all of us – about to stumble into it. At one point it was just a little speck on the horizon – you needed a decent pair of binoculars just to make out its shape. But now…it’s upon us. I’m talking about the end of summer.

I don’t know about you, but I am a creature of summer. I think all of us tend to feel affinities for certain seasons. Some of you are Spring people…love to kick off your shoes and go traipsing around your yards, “when weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush…” as Hopkins penned. Others of you are Fall people…you know these people because they don’t say Fall…they say Autumn…and they want you to know they say Autumn. The first to wear big bulky sweaters – never mind it’s going to be 77 degrees by 3 in the afternoon. But there are Fall people who don’t care about any of that – because Fall means one thing and one thing only: football. Then there are the Winter people. I don’t understand these people. I assume most of them must be Calvinists. I don’t know for sure…But you do find them, and they speak of the cold as if it were an electricity in their veins, permeating their existence. It takes all kinds.

But summer for me feels like a big comfortable bed I never have to make or a shirt I never have to tuck-in; it’s three months of living in such a way I wish I could live the rest of the year. Even when you’re working there’s something about working that feels different. So, now that the end of it is upon us – I’m looking at my calendar, I’m trying to plot out the flow of my days, organize, set goals, and process ways in which to reach those goals. All those things that I have learned to do through my adult life because I like my job and I like being married. But…it’s not easy. Mainly because of my attitude. My perception. A little overwhelmed, a little disappointed, a little frustrated, a little nervous. And it struck me the other day, before crossing this threshold, this change of seasons – I need centering. I need a reminder of who I am and what I’m to be about. Maybe I’m not alone in that – maybe no matter what kind of season-person you are, jumping out of summer and into a new season of life with a changing rhythm – maybe all of us could use a re-centering. SO, for the next few Sundays we’re going to be walking through the Beatitudes together. Or maybe not walking, so much as sitting with them – perhaps a little like the earliest disciples who sat with them on the side of that hill when they first heard them.

And what was it they heard? In a word: wisdom. Jesus’ ministry inaugurated an alternative kingdom, a dominion of God in and for this world – and this is the wisdom teaching of that kingdom. A wisdom that can enrich our relationships with God, with ourselves, and with