Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
This weekend we began a new series on the beatitudes, Jesus' introduction to his most indelible sermon. Nowhere does Jesus talk more clearly about what it looks like to follow him than in the Sermon on the Mount. It's a provocative and counter-intuitive announcement about what happens when God shows up: The poor, the meek, and those who mourn are called blessed.
The Beatitudes are not rules that need to be obeyed in order to be rewarded or things to avoid if you want to make it to heaven. They are an announcement about a new reality, the life of heaven, bursting forth into the world.
Blessed means not just happy, it means God is on your side. Every other religion asks the question, “what good thing must I do to be blessed?” But Jesus Christ is announcing, “blessed are those who there is no reason why they should be blessed!” The favor of God is now pouring down on all the people who do not deserve the favor of God.