“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”
2016 has been a hell of a year. Literally – if you live in Aleppo, or in South Sudan, or in any one of the countless communities worldwide buried below the poverty line. Political elections have not delivered a vision of a better world, but hate and fear and greater division. Post-truth, there is nothing we trust. Wars and bombings and assassinations are carried out against and in the name of every religion and ideology. Refugees – some of them children – have crossed continents and risked death at sea, to sleep on the streets and in the mud of Western European cities. For those who are willing to listen, for those who are awake: the world is not as it should be. We are hurting. The system isn’t working. The empire is bust.
But now is not a time for despair.
If you sense the haunting, if you feel something is broken, then listen. Listen for the strains of an ancient teaching that have been there all along. Listen for the whisper of another world. Two thousand years ago, Jesus stood on a Palestinian hillside and declared that the poor, the grieving, the meek, and the persecuted are blessed. The outsiders, the oppressed, and the forgotten are included. In the beatitudes, Jesus invites us to trust not fear; lament not denial; cooperation not comparison; agency not despair; compassion not judgement; honesty not pretense; human embrace, not division; surrender not retaliation.
A growing tribe of us are exploring these nine sayings – nine beats – as a path of recovery, back to reality. An invitation to walk through life differently. A rhythm we are desperate to feel reverberating through our world, up through the soles of our feet, right to our bones. We’ve been experimenting in how to live life the 9Beats way. How to put hope, and trust, peacemaking and humility into practice. How to follow in the path of radical love.
We hope you’ll join us.
The 9Beats Collective will be launching an album, website, learning labs, and much more in 2017. Follow at www.9beats.org or FB/9Beats.
Here come the depressed, they own the future.
Here come the grieving, they will be comforted.
Here come the enslaved, they will have the whole earth.
Here come the ones who are starved of justice, they will be filled.
Here come the gracious, they will be shown grace.
Here come the uncorrupted, they will see God.
Here come the peacemakers, they will be protected.
Here come the oppressed, they own the future.
Here you come, you oppressed, you wrongly accused.
Take heart, they did this to your heroes whose ghosts will not die.