Luke 6:20 Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Quite frankly, I find this one of the more troubling verses in the Bible. Poverty sucks and I shudder to think that people of means would site this verse to excuse us as a society or race for letting it continue to exist. Over the years I have tried to spend some time in Camden with Urban Promise and other ministries in an attempt to observe the blessedness of the poor. I don’t see many of us from the suburbs moving there to share in these blessings. Even most of the people I have met who do ministry in the city live outside it and commute in. The only way I can make any sense of this verse is that Jesus makes it very personal. Blessed are you even if you are in that class and condition that is labeled as poor. Jesus is saying to each of these people that God has not forgotten you, that God sees you and loves you and wants you too; that even amid the difficulties of poverty brought on by the broken people and structures of this world there are ways of experiencing love and joy and, at least a movement towards, justice. There is more to the kingdom of God than we see at present. That is why Jesus taught us to pray “thy kingdom come.” When we pray that, we are praying a blessing for the poor. This week, how might you encounter the poor to bring God’s blessing and kingdom?