In the Beatitudes, Jesus tells us how to live a happy life. This is not the stuff you will find on the bookshelf of best sellers at O’Hare airport. The Beatitudes challenge the current self-help mega industry offering counter-cultural concepts that may take you by surprise.
Blessed are the poor in spirit.
Blessed are the meek.
Blessed are those who mourn.
This must be a poor translation from the Greek, right? Did Jesus really advocate being poor in spirit or meek or in mourning?
Jesus is saying that true happiness comes from knowing our need for God. And no offense to Oprah or Deepak Chopra, but the rewards that the Beatitudes offer are beyond the temporal flits of happiness the world can offer.
The poor in spirit (who depend on God alone) — they will receive the kingdom of heaven!
The meek (meaning, those who display humility or what some call, servant leadership) will inherit the earth. (Whatever that means, it sounds pretty great!)
The mourners shall receive the comfort of God himself.
I especially love the 4th Beatitude which says, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.
Currently I am more hungry and thirsty, spiritually speaking, than at any other time in my life. It is a season of valley-dwelling.
And if you’ve lived long enough, you too have experienced valley-seasons when you are hungry for God’s peace and desperate for His intervention. It could be a health diagnosis. A prodigal child. The death of a loved one. A hole in your heart. Financial duress. We are all a mere phone call away from the unexpected.
But let’s take heart. The Old Testament book of Isaiah says, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters.”
And in the New Testament, Jesus says, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.”
All we need to do is Come. And that means God is already there. Waiting.
So this morning, I choose to come into the presence of God, hungry and thirsty as I am. The only place that makes sense to be.
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