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The Rev. William Klock: “Blessed are the Pure in Heart” (Matthew 5:8)

May 28, 2007

From the Rev. William Klock of Christ Church REC in Oregon, we have the next in his series on the Sermon on the Mount, Blessed are the Pure in Heart.  This is another good sermon from Fr. Bill, and this portion directly addresses something we have mentioned a couple of times recently–evaluating the fruit we are bearing for the Kingdom:

We need to examine ourselves and ask things like: What sorts of things do I think about when I’m not preoccupied with other things?  What goes through my mind when I put it in neutral?  How much dishonesty am I willing to put up with?  If I can get away with a little dishonesty here or there, will I?  How do I respond to the typical “office humour”?  What things command my obedience?  What do I want more than anything else in the world?  What or whom do I love?  Are the things I’m involved in and the things I say a true reflection of what’s in my heart?  How much of what I say and do is just an outward mask that I wear to make me look like Jesus even when I’m not much like him inside?

And Jesus tells us that a whole-hearted devotion to purity is rewarded with restored fellowship with God.  His promise isn’t just a future reward.  Even though we’re imperfect this side of heaven, we still see God.  The Christian’s eyes are opened so that we can see God where others are blind to him.  This past Friday Veronica and I drove out to Beacon Rock in the Gorge.  In all these years of driving by on Highway 14, we’d never actually stopped and made the full hike up.  It’s 848 feet high up a narrow trail carved out of the rock face.  The whole hike is nothing but beautiful views of the Columbia River, the Gorge, and the mountains, and all the time I kept seeing God at work wherever I looked.  And yet as obvious as it was to me I overheard another couple talking about it all in strict evolutionary and geological terms – they were totally blind to the Divine.  God opens our eyes to his providential work in history too, where others see only sociological and political trends we see the history of redemption unfolding.  God opens our hearts to a sense of knowing him, of daily feeling his nearness, and give us the ability to enjoy his presence.  And I think we can only enjoy his presence because Christ has purified us.  The non-Christian does everything he can to close his eyes to the holiness of God, because him that holiness shines a divine spotlight into his soul and proclaims him guilty.  For the non-Christian the presence of God is a terrible place where he sees and experiences only judgement and wrath, but for the believer it’s a place of grace and mercy.

That’s an interesting comparison as to what non-Christians perceive as opposed to what Christians see–and how sad that one would not see the glory of God in creation or the grace of God in His holiness.  May God help each of us to not be blind to His glory and His grace.

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