Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
Week of: January 29, 2017
Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
(Matthew 5:10, NRSV)
The Beatitudes have always been one of my favorite portions of scripture. Yet this particular one took on a whole new meaning for me on the morning of June 18, 2015, the day after the unfathomable massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. My seminary professor entered the classroom silently, read the Beatitudes, and led us in a prayer of mostly silent grief.
The entire trajectory of the semester seemed to change after that moment, and what emerged was a group of people more committed to working against the very serious powers of hatred.
It goes without saying that God’s Word spoke loud and clear that morning, and I am often reminded that the Word can and will speak that loudly and clearly when we open up a space for that to happen.
In our work as worship artists, it is our responsibility to allow the Spirit to move within us to open up such spaces, even if it means simplifying our presentation of that Word.
May our work always seek to create the space that God desires, so that the Word may be heard.
“O Word of God, so clear and true, renew our minds to trust in You.”
(From Keith Getty and Phil Madeira)