Happy New Year, everybody!
I’ll admit, I’ve been looking forward to the sermon series we’re embarking on this coming Sunday for a while, because it combines a few of my favorite things: the Beatitudes (that is, the “Blessed are” statements from Matthew 5), the season of Epiphany (that wonderful green slice between Christmas and Lent), and of course, “yes-and” dynamics.
You see, what we’re starting up on Sunday is an eight-week sermon series on the Beatitudes, and each week builds on the last. It’s a theory put forth by Jim Forest in his book, The Ladder of the Beatitudes, which argues that in order to be the mourning who are blessed, you have to first be poor in spirit. In order to be blessed in meekness, one has to first know how to mourn. And so it goes.
This week, we start with one of the more challenging beatitudes—blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew makes the clear distinction of being poor in spirit; when Luke offers up some similar teachings, he just goes for the poor. So my question for you this week is this—what does it mean to be spiritually broke? Spiritually bankrupt? Spiritually looking for loose change in couch cushions? And why is that indicative of a state of blessedness?
Broke is not broken. We have to hold that truth sacred as we ask those questions together.
It’s a great start to a great year. Let’s do 2017 together. I look forward to seeing you Sunday.