Anglican Cursillo Tasmania
Prayer for March 2023 from our National Spiritual Advisor (The Rev. Jane Lamont)
Reflection from our Diocesan Spiritual Advisor (The Rev. Lee Weissel), February 2023
“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will 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 children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘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.’”
Who are you? What is your identity? I don’t mean what do you do, or who are you related to, I want to know who you are. Identity is a powerful driver for human beings. It is something we develop both consciously and unconsciously. How we understand our identity dictates what we do and how we do it. When we don’t conform to our identity we feel less, and disappointed. Sometimes things get into our understanding of ourselves that are limiting. I hear it at school, ‘I am no good at maths or at sport.’ While they may not be the best at an activity, some internal dialogue has pronounced a reason for it, and as a result every time they come into a scenario involving that activity, they default to that message.
For us as followers of Christ, we too struggle with identity. We were raised in the world and also faced challenges, and sometimes we have internal voices that are limiting. They may have been placed there by events or a person or even a fellow believer, and we know they are there when we go to serve the Lord and our identity returns to a reason why we cannot: a limiting factor.
Starting into a new year, I seek to take a check of where my identity lies. I find there are a lot of conversations and events that have cluttered up the identity closet. So I need to go back to the scripture and hear the words of Jesus again. At the sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds us that our identity is in our relationship with God. It is on God I am to focus my heart and my mind. What does that look like in my day to day activities, in the way I relate to others, and the way I live? Looking at the Beatitudes, I see markers for the life of the follower of Christ. They are hard reading at times, because they radically turn the values of the world on their head. But they invite the reader to walk in step with the Holy Spirit. This year, if you haven’t had the opportunity to do so, come with me back to the Mount, and sit in the grass with the crowd, and as the breeze gently blows across your face, listen again to the words of the Master.