Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

Scripture: Matthew 5:3 (NRSVue)

Faith is famously defined in the book of Hebrews as “the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” But the first beatitude “blessed are the poor in spirit” gives us an important lesson in what faith isn’t. Faith is certainly not “the denial of things seen.” Faith helps us face reality. Faith dashes our illusions and fantasies: we need God. We’re all beggars in God’s sight–all of us. It’s two sides of the same coin. Faith says, “I’m not cutting it.” Faith also says, “God, only you can do it.” Faith helps you come to terms with what’s really going on. You’re mortal. You’re going to die someday. You’re not in control. Not the captain of your destiny. Who does Jesus say are the blessed ones? The smart, the wealthy, the popular, the winners? No, blessed are… the poor, the humble, the sorrowful, the hungry, and the persecuted. God blesses the least likely candidates. Why are they blessed? When you’re empty-handed and vulnerable–you can’t fake it anymore. You’ve got nothing to hide. You’re done playing games and conning yourself. Your one and only hope is in God, and God alone. And in that place of emptiness, you’re perfectly poised to be filled to overflowing. You are blessed.


February 13, 2022 – Online Service Bulletin and Bible Study

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Sermon Art: “Sermon on the Mount” by Cosimo Rosselli, 1481-82, Sistine Chapel, Vatican




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