Friday, June 01, 2007

Red-Letter Lives

General Omar N. Bradley, a veteran of World War I and II, said, “Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.”

This week, I wrote the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount on a card to carry in my purse. The beatitudes will give me something more worthy to read than billboards.

“Beatitude” means happiness of the highest kind. One day when Jesus’ disciples came to him, a mountainside became his pulpit. Because Jesus had God-resources, he shared truths that could stamp out selfish will — truths that caused self to melt, leaving a hollowed out place for God to live. These are his blessings:

· Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
· Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
· Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
· Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
· Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
· Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
· Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
· Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:1-10).

As a child, I remember seeing red letter words in my parent’s Bibles and asking them why some sentences were written in red ink. They told me the text singled out by red noted words spoken by Jesus, and I later learned the method eliminated the use of so many quotations marks.

Tony Morgan, minister, meditating on the red letter portion of the New Testament, noticed 16 significant action words, words of instruction to followers: believe, turn, follow, thirst, give, forgive, ask, agree, serve, love, pray, worship, obey, seek, trust, and go. These are written on the other side of my index card (in red ink).

The beatitudes and action words of Jesus written in this column are not in red ink, but perhaps you’ll be inclined to meditate on these today and allow God to scoop out a place in your life, a place where he can grow happiness of the highest kind.

Nuclear giants still abound. Ethical infants have clones. However, practiced beatitudes and commanded actions of Jesus can become remedies. They are words to live by.

Visit Cathy at

No comments:

Post a Comment