Devotion for Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jesus begins his famous Sermon on the Mount with this list of blessings we remember as “The Beatitudes.” I, for one, have usually and quietly thought to myself, “This is not our reality.” The poor in spirit inherit the kingdom of heaven!? Those of us who mourn are comforted!? And the meek, they inherit everything!?

These professed blessings of Jesus defy our reality and it is a rare day when we might observe these kinds of blessings. So I ask, “What is reality?” Webster offers this (3.): “The totality of all things possessing actuality, existence, or essence.”

Since Jesus is making claims for God’s coming kingdom, can we allow ourselves to expand our definitions of reality beyond the limits of actuality or existence and challenge ourselves to know what might be of essence? The essence of our Christian faith is to believe in the gracious wonders of God that are always beyond this world’s understood reality. Webster may be helping the cause of our faith by including “of essence” in its’ definition, because the quality of the Christian reality (essence) includes a hope that the reality of God’s kingdom intrude daily… into ours.

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