We begin our Beatitudes Series with a delightfully informative and rich conversation with Professor AJ Levine.  Professor Levine (along with Jim and Howie) talk about many personal, spiritual, and faith community topics.  AJ shares a bit of her personal life story.  She mentions some particularly blessed moments in her life. Listen for a quick clip about friendship and Job's friends in contrast to AJ's friends.

The trio then moves on to chat about the Gospel of Matthew and its 2nd Temple Jewish context.  There's rich comparisons here discussing how Jesus' followers and crowds were similar as well as distinct from today's American contexts.

The conversation then ventures into the variety of meanings (translated and otherwise) for the term "blessed."  Who is blessed and why?  What is the manner of blessings for Jesus that somehow identify God's reign uniquely.

Finally, AJ offers some pertinent, holy ideas about what the Beatitudes teach us and how to share such wisdom in our faith communities - ecumenically and in interfaith environments.  She closes with her own translation of the Beatitudes.

This episode in and of itself offers rich material for Christian educators and congregations.  It is also a great ladder for climbing us the rest of our Beatitudes pilgrimage in the weeks to come.


Blessings along The Way


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