In the fall of 2014, I was invited to speak at a local mosque about my book, A Christian Guide to Spirituality. Speaking at a mosque was new to me and anticipating this visit I spent three days fasting and praying for guidance. Instead of guidance on the mosque visit, God inspired me to write Life in Tension: Reflections on the Beatitudes from which this prayer book is taken.
When God comes into our lives, we change.
Our new identity is in Christ comes into tension with our old identity in ourselves as the Holy Spirit works in our hearts and minds. This tension arises between who we were and who God created us to be, between us and God, and between us and those around us. The Apostle Paul calls the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives sanctification.
Life in Tension reflects on Jesus' Beatitudes in the context of scripture. The Beatitudes serve as an introduction to the Sermon on the Mount and lay out Jesus' priorities in teaching his disciples. Because the sermon serves as a kind of ordination service for the Apostles, the importance of the Beatitudes for the early church, Christian spirituality, and discipleship today cannot be overstated.
Hear the words; walk the steps; experience the joy!