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The Beatitudes: 2022 Calvin Symposium on Worship Preaching Theme

At the 2022 Symposium on Worship, the sermons in our worship services will reflect on Jesus’ famous words, pondering what they meant to those who first heard them and what they still mean for us today as we navigate a complex world in our efforts to live like Jesus.

New Testament scholar and later Princeton Seminary President John A. Mackay opened his book on the gospels with these provocative words: “Most people worship a Jesus who was born, who died, but who never lived.” Mackay’s point was that too often our focus on Jesus’s miraculous birth and saving death causes us to skip over how Jesus lived and what that implies for our own discipleship. A key place to see how Jesus lived and would have us live are the sayings we collectively call the Beatitudes. Located in Matthew 5 at the start of the larger Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ Beatitudes sketch a form of life that is decidedly otherworldly. If a person could perfectly embody all of the Beatitudes, they would be constantly bumping up against how things usually go in this world. At the 2022 Symposium on Worship, the sermons in our worship services will reflect on Jesus’ famous words, pondering what they meant to those who first heard them and what they still mean for us today as we navigate a complex world in our efforts to live like Jesus.

Preaching Texts:

Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Rodrigo Cano, preaching

Matthew 5:4, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, preaching

Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."
Jerry Pillay, preaching

Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."
Janette H. Ok, preaching

Matthew 5:7, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."
Mary Hulst, preaching

Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."
Mandy Smith, preaching

Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
Ruth Padilla-DeBorst, preaching

Matthew 5:10, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Setri Nyomi, preaching

Matthew 5:11-12, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Darrell Delaney, preaching

Matthew 5:13-16, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Kevin Adams, preaching

2022 Calvin Symposium on Worship homepage

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