The Beatitudes are not for your Fridge Magnet

I struggle to think of the Beatitudes (Matt 5:3-10) as things that we should put on our fridge and aspire to. Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, says Jesus. Is he saying we should all be poor in spirit? Should we all be people who can hardly talk to God, who can’t know him, who would never be selected as an usher in church? No, but surprisingly, Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is for these people.

Blessed are those who mourn, says Jesus. Being in grief has it’s jewels and deep God moments, but I’ve never met anyone in deep grief that is glad about it. We would never wish that upon each other. It’s not a requirement, nor an aspiration for Christian life.

The Beatitudes are Jesus’ blessing for those who never thought they’d ever be a part of the kingdom. Yet in his life giving words, they are! And for those of us who have always assumed we’re in – surprise! Jesus doesn’t point to us.

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