Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sermon: All Saints Sunday

First. Class. Doormat. That’s what I said to myself as a little boy and heard this passage from Matthew for the first time.

And I’m not alone. American civil rights activist, Malcolm X once noted that oppressed people will continue to be oppressed if they follow this teaching. And US comedian Bill Maher likes to make fun of this “crazy” teaching that sets people up for abuse.

Those of us who’ve been around the church for a while might find Malcolm’s and Bill’s comments offensive. After all, they’re the words of Jesus, and their sharp edge might have dulled in our ears from years of hearing them.

But to fresh ears, Jesus’ words can sound astonishingly naive. Or even dangerous to our well being.

Blessed our the poor in spirit....blessed are those who mourn...blessed are the meek, the merciful, the peacemaker, and the persecuted.

Most of these are parts of ourselves that we’d rather keep hidden, aren’t they? These are human attributes that we’re trying to avoid. We don’t want to be on the same city block of mourning, or of meekness, or even of peacemaking.

We spend more time and energy trying to look strong. We put on brave faces to share with others, so we won’t look weak.

And this week, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out why these readings have been assigned to All Saints Sunday.

To me it seems that we’re being asked to...(whole thing here)

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