I am beginning a slow work all over again in the Sermon on the Mount because I was challenged recently by something I wrote over 8 years ago. It is time to enter into this bigger challenge, even though I would rather be lazy and just let the feeling pass by.
Re-entering the Beatitudes, there is a short hand I will use here because I need much more space to draw it out. (And, you can also read Dallas Willard’s monumental work The Divine Conspiracy for a more full explanation.) Basically, my view on the Beatitudes is this:
It’s not about what WE are to “achieve.” (Such as, “I need to BE poor in spirit.”
This is a list of losers. Jesus is making the claim: “NO ONE is beyond Kingdom blessing, not even this bunch of losers.”
Now, JESUS doesn’t label them losers. The world does. I mean, who really expects the “meek” to inherit the earth? We need “winners”. We need people who will make us “winners” again!
Diving into this list again, I am more convinced than ever before this is a place the white American conservative church has abandoned. We have misinterpreted the Beatitudes and the Sermon to bend it to our will… and it’s to our shame. It is to our embarrassment.
Lord, we are in need of repentance!