Thursday, September 10, 2015

One Day on Mt. Eremos


Near the crest of Eremos sitting just outside a shallow cave in the rock Jason watched the spectacle below him unfold.  The movement had progressed along the shore of Genneseret, a small cluster of perhaps a dozen people in the lead and a host, a vast cloud of people following behind.

As the mob began to ascend the hillside, Jason moved stealthily toward them, taking care to shelter behind the bushes and the scrub growth.  Presently the lead group stopped on a ledge half-league above the sea.  The crowd continued to press toward them, pressing closer, closer, until hundreds of folk had seated themselves around the first little group.  And still they came as Jason crept behind a gnarled cedar a mere ten cubits from the principal of the little tableau, for it was clear from the deference shown him that the fellow wearing a rough woolen tunic and with the shoulder length sandy hair banded around the forehead with a strip of blue cloth was the center of attention.  The man was quite ordinary in appearance, but his face showed an amazing resolve, as though he knew exactly what was expected of him and exactly how to deliver.  The crowd clearly wanted something from him.

The Man, for this is how Jason thinks of him, seated himself on a stone.  The dozen or so men nearest him sat about him.  The Man opened his mouth to speak and this is what Jason heard, the astonishing words he heard.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Jason was mesmerized never had he heard man speak as this swarthy man with calloused hands spoke.  And he went on.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
You are salt, and light, Jason heard.  The man may have spoken for an hour, or for hours, for Jason had lost all sense of time as his heart was stirred and his mind began to play over the memories of his wasted years as a recluse on this mountain.  How can I be salt?  And light?  I must get close to The Man.  I must know what I must do.

The words of The Man as recorded in Matthew 5 (KJV)


Vee said...

Beautifully written story.

I always like reading The Beatitudes in the KJV (also Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastics, and Song of Solomon). The poetic rhythm is missing in other versions.

Secondary Roads said...

I love that narrative--and the message.

vanilla said...

Vee, I think it more than mere familiarity; I think the language is more poetic, more comforting. I considered using an alternative version, but it just didn't ring with the clarity and simplicity of the familiar language.

Chuck, though there is alive today only one of those present on that hill that day, the message lives, along with the Messenger.