The Beatitudes feel like Jesus is Tom Sawyer and discipleship is painting a fence
Gospel Reading: Luke 6:20-31
For Sunday, November 7, 2010 Year C - All Saints
Is Jesus just being a little Tom Sawyer here, trying to make being poor, hungry and hated like the Christian spiritual equivalent of painting a fence? “Oh it’s great being a miserable wretch in my name” Jesus says in his tattered overalls and corn cob pipe, his fingers crossed behind him, “…it’s being ‘blessed’ and as a matter of fact, being rich and fabulous is woeful compared to being homeless and starving.” I, for one, am not taken in. Based on this I will not be picking up a paintbrush for Jesus.
Picking Up the Paintbrush?
The Beatitudes, these blessings at the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount are so weird. Blessed are the poor? Those who are hated, those who are reviled? I tend to have one of two reactions: If this is what being “blessed” looks like, I might have to pass.
Or, conversely, I end up looking at the Beatitudes is as pure exhortation. If only I were a lot more hungry, then God would bless me. If only I just wept more. We want to hear it like that so we can take things into our own hands. Because it’s easier to try and do what it takes to earn God’s favor that to sit in the very disturbed reality of the beatitudes.