Given by Rev. Madison Shockley February 2, 2020

The Sermon on the Mount goes to the heart of Jesus’s teachings. We need to put it in context though.  We must read the gospels through the len of a radical hermeneutic. We each bring our own interpretations to the text. We must acknowledge that bias as we read. We ask ourselves, why was this sermon so radical? The answer is in who was on the list and who was not. Those who were on the margins of society were included on the list. Those doing well in society were not. Today, we are looking at the ninth beatitude. Troublemakers are ones who test the limits, do not conform, are never satisfied, and looking to broaden their outlook. Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing what is right. You are in good company. The prophets were also troublemakers. Another example is William Sloane Coffin, a clergyman and peace advocate. Still another is Paul Robeson, an actor, singer and political activist. They changed the world but suffered a heavy price. Someone in the world needs your voice, your advocacy. Go out and be that troublemaker!