This passage concludes with; “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” and it began with the Beatitudes’ “Blessed Be” list. I think from this passage and many of Paul’s teachings it is clear that God intends for us to convey something about Him to the world such that “something” is going to include whatever “blessedness” looks like.
If you were asked to describe what God’s blessing looks like, what does your mind gravitate toward? Who comes to mind? Do you consider yourself blessed? Hopefully our answers will bear resemblence to Jesus’ description. Let’s crosscheck. Here is Jesus’ list. You are blessed if you; are poor in spirit, mourn, are gentle, are hungery and thirsty for righteousness, are merciful, are pure in heart, are a peacemaker, have been persecuted or you have been slandered. So, how blessed are we?
There is one arena of blessing (at least in the west) that is conspicous in its absence from Jesus’ list – that is wealth and the material comforts it can provide. I mentioned theological tension yesterday. There is a good deal of tension around the topic of money within Christianity. Jesus could have resolved a great deal of this by simply saying, “Blessed are the successful for they shall have the comfort and security of material wealth”. The truth is that we in western culture have added this on our own. In His silence on this theme, Jesus has spoken much. In the midst of the tension between our mindset and His Word, He leaves us with His Spirit to watch over our hearts with diligence.
I proposed the idea Thursday that the Truth was in the tension and that we should not fear it nor flee from it. While flight may be a real temptation, here it would probably be wise for us to defer to the Alpha and the Omega, Someone who is taking the long-view in regard to life. From His vantage point, this life, where so much energy is devoted to the pursuit of happiness by means of material comforts, is just the blinking of an eye in the grand scheme of things.
I suppose in a world infected with darkness Truth is not only in the tension, Truth is the source of it. In our minds that are being progressively renewed to mirror that of Jesus’ mind, tension may indicate the presence of Truth knocking on our heart’s door. So, my prayer is;
Father, may Your Spirit prevail in Your claim on our minds and our hearts. May we surrender our rights and all our claims for things in this world and transfer title to back to You. May You be truly glorified by our lives as we discover the eternal and infinite dimensions of blessing and demonstrate them before a world lost in the finite and temporary. Amen.