Luke 6: 20 – 22
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.”
Jesus’ teaching in this passage is part one – the blessings. In it, he reminds those who are on the margins and those experiencing injustice and rejection that they will have the last word. They are already blessed because they will be justified, they will be vindicated, their destiny is fullness of life.
These words can seem like small comfort to those suffering poverty, hunger, mourning, and being hated and rejected. But Jesus is speaking to a deeper truth. Jesus is reminding those who suffer that their lives are bigger than what is being done to them or the external circumstances. Jesus is pointing to the liberation of not being defined by these realities.
The blessing is in knowing that you are unimpeded in embracing the kin-dom of God – that you are Beloved and that you Belong! The blessing is that you have inestimable dignity and value to God – yours is the kin-dom of God, you will be satisfied, you will laugh ….
Jesus goes on to say:
“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”
To those blinded by privilege, power, prosperity – with an unwillingness to share your life with those who lack – that’s as good as it gets. The trappings in which you find your security and significance will not go the distance for you. They will fall away – and you will have missed the deeper reality.
The good news is that you have a choice. Living in solidarity with those who cling to the truth that they are Beloved and they Belong – will usher you into a place of blessing.
- How have you experienced the blessing of being on the margins?
- What choices do you recognize are in front of you to move from temporary comfort to the blessing of solidarity?
In the midst of whatever circumstances we are navigating, give us the deep awareness of the treasure and blessing of knowing we are of inestimable worth and value to you. Remind us in the depths of our being that we are Beloved and we Belong! And give us the courage to take this reality into solidarity with those on the margins. Amen.
This Lenten reflection accompanies the Tell Your Pastor #imaffirming initiative. To learn more click here.