I know this is a tall claim and order, one put out by a person who is not steeped enough in the knowledge of Christendom. In this case what I mean by Christendom is wherever there’s an organized church or group of churches which confess the faith that is in Jesus, the gospel. I think there are exceptions to my complaint here. One such might be the Franciscan Order within the Roman Catholic Church. And of course the Mennonites and Amish along with some other groups like them have done much better in this.
My complaint is that the Sermon on the Mount ought to have a much greater place in our liturgy and thinking. Instead we exalt the psalms, and I’m all for that. I read them once a month. But I’m saying to myself, shouldn’t I be reading Jesus’ words on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7); also note Jesus’s Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:17-49) just as much? It is central according to Jesus in how the old covenant is fulfilled in terms of how one lives because of Jesus.
I don’t think this sermon is much on our radar in our thinking. Ever since the church was taken up into worldly power (think, Constantine), at least some of these words, as I read (or heard) somewhere recently, don’t resonate or make sense at all. And so we’re at a great loss. Of course there’s much more to the Sermon on the Mount than its push against worldly power. And I say we need all of scripture along with it. But I would argue that it ought to be front and center in our thinking. And to go over it once a year at best, just doesn’t do.