Blessed to be a Blessing

Date(s) - 04/07/2018
9:00 am - 1:45 pm

Northway Christian Church


Blessed to be a Blessing: The Discipleship of the Beatitudes
Saturday, April 7, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
Martha Stortz, Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN

In Matthew’s Gospel, the Sermon on the Mount inaugurates Jesus’ public ministry, and the first word out of Jesus’ mouth is ‘blessed’. He repeats this word throughout his first sermon. Jesus calls his disciples by blessing them, and as he speaks, Jesus introduces himself to us but also introduces disciples to themselves, for the Beatitudes offer a character sketch of who disciples will become if they follow him. The Beatitudes function as a compass for the journey of Christian discipleship. The first group of Beatitudes target people in situations of suffering. The second group of Beatitudes target people who help those who suffer. Through an appeal to experience and biblical stories, we will look closely at Jesus, the one blessing and the one blessed, at the disciples who are blessed to be a blessing, and at how blessing is made real in practice.

Martha Stortz is Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation, Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN. From 1981 to 2010, she taught at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary where she also served as a member of the core doctoral faculty at the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley, Calif. Dr. Stortz, who received her BA from Carleton College and her MA and PhD from the University of Chicago, is a distinguished theologian whose scholarship includes work in historical and systematic theology, ethics, and biblical studies. She is an acclaimed teacher, scholar, and leader in the church, academy, and wider society. In addition to her many published articles, she is the author of A World According to God: Practices for Putting Faith at the Center of Your Life, Blessed to Follow: The Beatitudes As a Compass for Discipleship, and Journey’s in John’s Gospel: Called to Follow.