Summary: To focus upon the BEAUTIFUL ORDER in the flow of BEATITUDES
Beauty in the Beatitudes
“For God is not a God of disorder…” 1 Cor 14:33
First things first. What is the chief and highest end of man? Let the revered Christian Book namely the Westminster catechism give the answer. Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify (worship) God, and fully to enjoy him forever. When it comes to glorifying Him and fully enjoying Him, let it be said that the entire exercise ought to be “absolutely genuine emanating right from the innermost core of one’s being (read spirit)”. This would lead to the next question, how could the process of glorifying Him originate right from the depths of one’s heart? It is only possible, when a person is truly fascinated by His unique traits. Remember, worshipping God for WHAT HE IS, is the highest form of worship, standing head and shoulders above other forms of worship, which come with strings attached, such as worshipping Him for the blessings, He showers upon us. While on the subject, at this stage, it would serve us well to look at the synonym of the word “Glorify”, which is “Magnify”. When, one magnifies Him, that is to say, when one keenly observes His Divine nature, with a magnifying glass, as it were, the “spiritual explorer” (if you permit me to use this expression) in you is bound to come across several unique attributes of the Almighty, which would evoke awe, and in turn lead to spontaneous, heart-felt worship and praise.
In this Sermon punctuated with…what else… “Hallelujahs” (incidentally Hallel in Hebrew language means To praise and Yah means God) I would like to bring before my congregation, one definite attribute in the Almighty, which at once evokes awe in me that is …He is (as the above-captioned Scripture emphasizes) a GOD OF ORDER. There is perfect order, in whatever He does. Period. One may well say that His signature of orderliness is seen vividly in all of His physical creation and to the keen observer, perfect order would be perceptible in the spiritual realm too. Firstly, let us focus upon our Planet, as one entity. There is a distinct orderliness about it in all areas’ especially in matters such as its distance from its “heating system” …the Sun, isn’t it? If it were a lit bit closer, we would all be fried to death and a little further away and we would all freeze. Right? Do not get your thinking marred by imagining about possibility of life in Mars. Nothing quite like our good ole’ Earth, when it comes to sustaining life. Look at the “reverse breathing order” of human and plant life, and we find one more reason to spontaneously praise Him. What we inhale, the plants exhale and vice versa! Is this breathing pattern a result of some bizarre cosmic accident? NO WAY!
Sublimation before action…
Now let us come to the spiritual realm, or to be more precise to the Sermon on the Mount delivered by our Lord, which is the cornerstone of Christian faith and what do we see? There too, we see a wonderful pattern in operation. Ever wondered, why the good Lord spoke about the beatitudes FIRST (the word Beatitude incidentally means supreme blessedness) and then only about several DOs’ and DONTs’ in His illustrious message, which span Chapters 5 to 7 of the Gospel according to St. Matthew. As it were, the entire Sermon on the Mount can be divided into 2 parts. The weightier beatitudes (Matt 5:1-12) followed by how we need to go about “fleshing out the Christian faith” (Matt 5:13-7:28). As the beatitudes focus upon the inward transformation to start with, our Lord was obviously more interested “in what we BECOME FIRST, rather than in what we DO”- sublimation before action for you, please! Is it not a fact of life that doing or not doing anything depends on WHAT WE ARE IN THE FIRST PLACE? Underscoring this truth, one Biblical scholar put it creatively when he said, “For this purpose, we are called Human BEIGNS and not Human DOINGS”!
Now, if I were to say that even in the beatitudes, there is a beautiful order portraying “gradual evolution of a Christian life” and that they are actually inter-connected, would you mouth a loud HALLELUJAH? YES, THEY ARE, SO YOU BETTER DO! Ever wondered, why the good Lord placed the beatitude about persecution at the very end? To arrive at the answer, we need to ask ourselves, this question. WHEN DOES A CHRISTIAN GET PERSECUTED? Beginning here are questions and answers arrayed backwards, which would lead to the first beatitude. A Christian gets persecuted, only when He stands up for His Saviour or only when he works for Him. When would he do that? ONLY, WHEN HE HAS A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM! AND WHEN DOES THAT RELATIONSHIP BEGIN? ONLY WHEN HE POOR IN SPIRIT SEEKS THE SAVIOUR! Oh boy, oh boy…simply amazing is the perfect order in the beatitudes. HALLELUJAH!