Daily Archives: November 9, 2010

Blessed are the meek

So, it appears that yesterday I only thought about posting, but didn’t actually write. Serves me right for owning up to trying NaBloPoMo.

Today I have been into the local school to lead collective worship. We plan these a term at a time, so whichever member of the team are leading it should make sense and not end up with the same story three weeks running.

We are doing the beatitudes this half term and I volunteered for ‘blessed are the meek’. Sounds easy? Not so much, especially when I found that there don’t seem to be any assemblies online for 5-11 year olds based on blessed are the meek. Now I know why.

I really wanted to go into the link between blessed are the meek and turn the other cheek. With both of them, despite seeming to advocate being a total pushover, there is a sense of protest. Meekness in this context doesn’t mean being totally acquiescent to any unreasonable oppression. Rather, it is a measured response. You can still state how much the oppression is hurting you, and try to avoid it happening. The meekness comes in not getting angry or responding violently

Turning the other cheek is similar. The natural way for a right-handed person to slap someone is on the left cheek. Turning the other cheek requires them to either use their left hand (which in non-enlightened times was very much not done) or to hit back-handed. Hitting back-handed signified the total insignificance and humiliation of the person you are hitting. Volunteering to be humiliated in this way is meant to be a way of pointing out to the person hitting you the damage they are inflicting.

All very well and nicely intellectualised. Problems? For a start, there is little meaning to these codes of right-handed superiority and correct fighting any more. Then there is all the bullying of left-handers or putting into practice of hitting each other that might arise from an assembly on this subject.

I ended up using a box of duplo bricks tipped all over the floor to help illustrate this. Any guesses how?