God’s way of seeing the world is fundamentally different from the way we see it. This is never more clearly illustrated than in the Beatitudes that we read today. Every statement that Jesus makes in this teaching says exactly the opposite of what the standards of our world would expect it to say. Jesus says that the poor in spirit, the hungry, those who weep, and those who are hated, are blessed by God.
When we hear these words, there is still a sense of scandal within them. Realistically, even most Christians do not treat the poor, the hungry, and the broken as if they are God’s treasured people. And our social institutions certainly don’t always act out of this perspective.
But at some fundamental level, we know that Jesus’ words are actually statements of what is already true. They expose the fake world that most of humanity lives in, a world that believes that we are what we produce.
The way God sees and has organized the world gives blessing to the humble, those who serve others, those who walk with others through dark valleys. As subversive as it sounds, those are the only ways to experience the life we were created for. May we learn to trust and live in accordance to this simple, sacrificial way of Jesus.
God, help me conform my mind to the wisdom of Jesus, seeking fulfillment in loving you and loving others as myself. Amen.
God wants us to be rooted firmly in our faith. Jeremiah contrasts those who put their trust in themselves with those who trust in God. The latter are like healthy trees with deep roots and a constant water supply, never in danger of drying up or dying. The psalmist uses the same image to describe those who meditate on God’s teachings. Thus, as you do these daily readings and reflect on them, you are sinking deep roots into fertile soil. Agricultural imagery is continued in Paul’s letter. Paul describes Jesus Christ risen in the flesh as the first fruit, meaning that he is the first of many who will be resurrected. In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, worldly success is not necessarily an indication of God’s blessing.
Read Jeremiah 17:5-10. Examine your heart. Do you place your trust in “mere mortals” or in the Lord?
Read Psalm 1. How do you seek to meditate on God’s Word day and night?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. How has your understanding of the resurrection of the dead changed your living?
Read Luke 6:17-26. How do you understand the paradoxes of Jesus’ blessings and woes?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.