Slow down. Breathe. Relax. God’s got this. Now, get out there!
The world seems to have gone all reality TV on us; loneliness, violence, inequality, bigotry, struggle and anxiety to name a few. Yet there is another way to live—to be truly human.
Poet Emily Dickinson wrote, “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant.” That word, S L A N T! It startles me awake. Truth flies in from the margins and catches us off guard by a God whose middle name is “surprise.” Truth is angular, the glint of steel reflecting off the moon, in Jesus Christ.
The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12 are nine beats of truth flying in slant. The conversation on the mount reorganizes us as a new way to be human movement in the world. It is a gentle rain cleansing humanity of all of her “isms.” We must allow these beatitudes to go organic like a deeply rooted tree. It is a gentle communal invitation and not a harsh provocation. We are invited to be a movement of people showing the world a new way to be human.
Nine times like a steady beat of the bass drum in rhythmic cadence we are called blessed. Theologian Karl Barth translates the English word “blessed” like this; “you lucky bum.” Lucky are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who ache for righteousness, the merciful, pure in heart, the peacemaker, the persecuted, and the persecuted for Christ. The cadence of a life lived fully and faithfully in direct opposition to the countless “isms.” What a grand reason for being alive. The objective is clear: to be the conduit for “Truths superb delight” to shine brightly in and through the Church of Jesus Christ. Even though it has been a couple decades since our lives have been intertwined our core commitments are still the same.
We have both travelled many miles and now a return of sorts. T.S. Eliot wrote in Little Gidding, “And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time.” I look forward to “seeing you again for the first time.”
Live #aSLANTlife…you lucky bums!
By Pastor Toby Wilson (former Hope pastor)
Lead Pastor, Placentia Presbyterian Church