Well, our family is officially a part of the “Fitbit” craze. Many of you know what I am talking about. Cheryl got me this Fitbit watch for Christmas, and it keeps track of how many steps you take every day — most people’s goal is to try to get 10,000 steps a day (unless you’re Bradley Kirkley, who likes to make you look bad by getting double of what everyone else gets, but I digress …). So it keeps track of how many steps you are getting in walking, and running, or whatever exercise you are doing — but it also does more than that. It keeps track of a whole scope of things which affect your physical health: it counts your steps, the number of stairs you have taken up & down, how many minutes you have been active during the day, and how often you have been exercising — in fact it will “buzz” you with a reminder if you have been sitting down too long, and tell you to get up and get 250 steps to keep your metabolism going. It tracks your heart rate, and if you wear it to bed, it will even tell you how much sleep you aren’t getting! It feeds all this information to your computer, so you can go to your Fitbit app page, and see right there on one page, all these elements of your physical health: exercise, heart rate, sleep, miles walked, minutes you’ve been active, how much water you’ve drunk (if you punch that in), current weight and how much you’ve gained or lost — so right there on one page, you get a pretty good one-page “snapshot summary” of your physical health.
But what many people do not realize is that a “snapshot summary” is basically what we find in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-12, at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. You KNOW that the words that open this sermon must be of utmost importance — these are the FIRST words of His FIRST sermon in the FIRST book of the New Testament — you KNOW that because this is such a strategic place, that what Jesus is saying here is something very, very important for us. Continue reading