A Disrespectful God {a hillside sermon}

To pronounce a blessing on something is to see it from the divine perspective. To pronounce a blessing is to participate in God’s own initiative. To pronounce a blessing is to share God’s own audacity. {Barbara Brown Taylor}

Audacious. What a good word, particularly for God.

To be audacious is to take risks, to be bold. Oxford Dictionary tell us audacious means to “show an impudent lack of respect.” Ah, that’s it – a God of disrespect. Disrespect for leaving broken things broken. Disrespect for allowing tears the final word. Disrespect for leaving the lonely alone. Disrespect for the assumed order of things, particularly when that means the powerful gain more power while the weak take another kick. God has a brazen disregard for fitting into the system as it is.

No place reveals this brazenness more boldly than the Beatitudes through which we’ve just traversed, this odd reality where the ones whom everyone knows are not blessed are precisely the ones God does bless. Blessings on those who have nothing, blessings on those buried in sorrow, blessings on the ones under another’s heel and so on… The Beatitudes are not a prescription for how we pull ourselves together (or tear ourselves apart) so we can present to God our noble character and thus receive blessing. Rather, the beatitudes evidence God’s insistence that a new world has begun, a new Kingdom. In God’s world, you’re blessed simply because God says so – and often, at the moment when blessing seems most impossible – most audacious.

God has moved toward us. God’s kindness is bolder than we’ve thought. Blessing.

p.s. I have one concluding hillside sermon installment on Wednesday, the one I’m most eager of all to share. Do drop back by.

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