“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and he taught them, saying: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The Gospel according to Matthew 5:1-3
I can’t escape that the first thing that we read is that Jesus saw the crowds. Today, I hear and see so many people who are desperate to be seen and heard. Whether it is through our online postings or our taking to the streets people want to be seen. No one wants to be dismissed or pushed aside. We all want to be acknowledged as people. People with hopes and aspirations. People with families, friends, and loved ones. People who want to be treated fairly. People who want a chance at life.
Jesus saw the crowds…He sees us…each of us.
What happens next is something that we in the Church have been trying to understand and attempting to live into for over 2000 years.
Jesus says; “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus knows that there are people in that crowd as there are people today who have very little left in their tank to stand as resilient people ready to face the new challenges in front of the them. There are those of us who say, “I have nothing left to give. I am empty, but life just wants more from me and I don’t know what to do.”
Jesus says; “I know you have nothing left to give and I tell you that you have been given the kingdom of heaven.”
What does that mean?
I interpret that to mean that we have access to an unlimited resource that is not found within ourselves or in the physical realm that we can draw upon to face what is in front of us. That we have an advocate who will plead our case in the cosmic courtroom to point out the injustice that we have endured and strengthen us to claim that victory.
What none of us know is just how long the hardships will last? How long will the grief continue? How long before I feel like the me I used to be before all of this happened?
No one really knows, but I know that we are not designed as beings that stay in the same place mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. I am not the same person that I was when I finished high school. I am not the same person that I was in college. I am not the same person that I was when my wife and I said “I do” to each other 20 years ago. I am not the same person that I was when I held my first born child 16 years ago.
The point is we change. We are always changing. We have the opportunity to grow in and as a result of these seasons of pain. For they are only seasons and as we leave them we will not be the same. We will be different and it will be the wise among us that will say that it was God who saw me through all of it. It was the gifting and blessing of the kingdom of heaven that gave me the strength to endure.
If you feel lost and tapped out today my prayer is that you will know that Jesus sees you and says to you;
You are blessed with access to the kingdom of heaven. This will not be your final season. I will see you through it.