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In pursuit of

Christian perfection

(Quiet reflections on

The Beatitudes)

Peter M. Cooke


























































In pursuit of

Christian perfection

(Quiet reflections on

The Beatitudes)

Peter M. Cooke


Author pic Don Martin

Cover pic

Rosa gallica

Pancrace Bessa























acknowledgement


The poems Song of the stars by Lily Sampson on p7 and I thought to find the Christ by Kaare Westergaard on p9 are copyright The Salvation Army, and are used by kind permission.

INTRODUCTION


How grateful we ought to be for the challenges to our thinking which we find in the Bible as we read it! And for the challenges which come to us as Christians as we try to live the only life we believe to be worth living! Among these are The Beatitudes found at the heart of the teachings we think of today as The Sermon on the Mount.

So as we consider these qualities of Christian perfection, lets try to imagine ourselves in the crowd who heard them for the first time. Thats impossible of course; time has blunted the edge of their teaching, so that we can almost let them slip by us un-noticed.

Its been suggested that they describe the qualities of Christian perfection (Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church) and few would disagree with that. Elsewhere its suggested (The Lion Encyclopaedia of the Bible) that ‘…it is to people like this that Gods Kingdom belongs. They are the ones God will reward. And so the Beatitudes turn the worlds idea of happiness upside down.

Lets ask then that God will come afresh to us, helping us to find something new for us to think about in this familiar passage of Scripture!











ONE


THE POOR IN SPIRIT


The Sermon on the Mount has been called The Charter of the New Age. It is generally thought these days to contain not just one long sermon but a collection of short discourses, of even fragments of discourses, and some detached words, grouped together for convenience by Matthew, and given the overall title of The Sermon on the Mount.

At its beginning we find The Beatitudes.

As we read them we discover first of all that we must come to him in poverty of spirit, in emptiness of soul, knowing that these are all we need for him to come and bless us. We have his promise that his Kingdom will be ours if we come to him in this way.

So we come with empty hands, with head and heart bowed down, to one who understands, to whom each thought is known. We have his promise that his Kingdom will be ours if we come to him in this way.


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