Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Well here is the good news for today:
Mat 5:3 " Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus spoke this in a context where religious people believed that healthy, wealthy, emotionally stable people were the result of God’s blessing. And poor, sick, struggling people were suffering the curse of God.
But Jesus turned this upside down. He insisted that those who are spiritually poor, and those who mourn, and those who broken can know the blessing of God in their lives – irrespective of their social location (Read Matthew 5: 1-12). Matthew’s Gospel tells us that Jesus called a community together and asked them to re-imagine their religion, and see a community where people are made whole:
Where those who mourn are comforted.
Where those who are humiliated discover the promises of God
Where those who are persecuted find a place in God’s family
And where those who suffer from the slander and gossip will be loved by the people of God.
Sadly many religious people still confuse wealth, and health, and happiness with the blessing of God. As a consequence there are people who hide their brokenness in the company of Christians. So they fix a smile on their face and leave their problems at the door and fake it with the familiar exchange of greetings: “How are you? I am fine!” Or the even more bizarre reply: “I am blessed.” Eugene Petersen’s paraphrase The Message puts it this way:
Mat 5:3 You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope.
So I dream of a world without this kind of religion.
I dream of a Christian community where there is no judgement, no gossip, and no humiliation. I dream of a Church where there is no exclusion based on doctrine, ethnicity, gender, or sexual preference. I long for a spirituality that has no desire for numerical superiority, no pursuit of wealth, and no grand legacy to be established.
Not only do I invite broken people to come to God - but I dream that we should become a community of healing: a place where broken people can be made whole.