Matthew: 5:1-12
Christians are called to not only love Jesus and follow Him but to understand and follow His Commandments. We often get confused as Christians and instead know about the Moses Commandments of the Old Testament. The Decalogue is important but they are not the guiding light for us in 2020. Sadly, our culture has made a big thing out of the Mosaic code as it fits the need of the fundamentalist church to control and "other" or name and make enemies which produces energy to build a community. It also plays into the need to exploit the earth and exploit Native People. These realities  are not new and they produced the exploitative style of Judaism in Jesus' time which actually led Jesus to start a rebellion that eventually led to His death. If we believe that Jesus is Divine, then His commandments are totally significant. It is not possible to be an "Old Testament Christian". That is an oxymoron! Jesus calls us to a new life with a new light to follow.

We are called by Jesus to build our faith on rock of love, not on sand of fear and hate. Our rock is Jesus and His teaching is contained in the Jesus Commandments. It is tragic that the church has labelled these teachings as "Beatitudes" when in fact they are Commandments, which is summed up in loving God, self and others. This naming as beatitudes or blessings takes the importance, energy and centrality out of these words as reported in Matthew's gospel.

What are the implications of the Jesus' Commandments in 2020 and beyond? Taken seriously, the Jesus Commandments call us to love all. They call us to have a faith based in real evidence of the universe, its creation and not evasion and the magical falsehood of literalism. We are not to find enemies everywhere and base our faith practice in forcing people out instead of including them. This includes immigrants, refugees, people of other cultures, religious practice, social status, ethic background, First Nations, sexual orientations and differing languages. We are to care for the Earth and not carelessly exploit it! Now we know about Climate Change which is human caused, we are to change our ways now and hear the call of scientists who are often the prophets of our age. We are to follow fact over fear, truth over rumour. We are to be friends with others not to shun, judge and evade. We are to combine our faith with our practice of daily life. This is called "orthopraxy". It is in this way that we follow the commandments of God on Earth-Jesus. We understand God as a Holy Mystery in our lives which we can never quantify. There is mystery and fact. We live in both and it is joined through God who loves all of God's creation, not just some parts. Jesus commands us to love. as we celebrate this in our partaking of the Eucharist and going from church into the world.