January 29th, 2012
|12:29 pm - The First Beatitude, Explained (or at least expanded)|
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
Blessed are the mentally ill, the depressed, the burnt-out, the overwhelmed, the weary, the lonely, the doubting, the empty-hearted.
Blessed are those who are so poor (in Greek, ptôchos, utterly without resources) that all they can do is hide from the world around them.
Blessed are they who are so bowed down by fear and exhaustion and harsh words that they cannot even lift their heads.
Blessed are they, because it is at the last dregs of themselves that they see who it is that God loves.
Blessed are they, because it is then that they see that it is not the person who could cover himself in gold or hide herself in a fine house of wit who is precious to God.
It is this person who so lacks everything who is so truly precious.
It is who they are at the root, at the bare bottom, at the end of their strength and resources.
It is not what they can do for God, but who they are and were created to be.
Blessed are they, because they can be entrusted with the kingdom from the ground up.
Blessed are they, because God calls them first to be his when they are nothing; and everything they grow into after that is infused with his regard, his power, his ability to see.
Blessed are they, because there is nothing to stop them from becoming as like God himself as any human beings ever will.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Current Mood: contemplative
Beautiful, and absolutely true. Trying to learn that one myself right now. Thank you.
I'm glad you find it so. Hold onto this.
I like that so much better than the standard Presbyterian interpretation, which is that "poor in spirit" == sin, sin, sin, Total Depravity etc. When my minister was doing a series of sermons on the beatitudes, I was going "Whut?" when he was preaching on that one. One of the ocassions when he was looking at the text through Doctrine Coloured Glasses. Fortunately he doesn't do that all the time.
I was actually going to write an essay, and looked up about 10 different glosses on this scripture from different doctrinal and denominational traditions. A couple of them sounded like your pastor's version, but I couldn't reconcile that with some of the other beatitudes, how Jesus is turning our ideas of what is blessed upside down (it's not the happy, the rich, those who have things to give), and how I've experienced this in my own life.
So I wrote this instead. :) I'm glad that it spoke life to you.
but I couldn't reconcile that with some of the other beatitudes, how Jesus is turning our ideas of what is blessed upside down