Maybe it’s because Christmas was just a few weeks ago and ‘Emmanuel’ keeps playing in my head. Maybe it’s because the Wednesday Morning Bible Study is starting to study the Gospel of Luke today and that’s where we see With-Us God at work. Maybe it’s because I spent time with a friend prepping for one of his ordination interviews and incarnation kept coming up. Over and over again, I keep hearing and seeing and thinking on the phrase “God is with us.”
As we continue on the Beatitudes this week, I think we can see a pattern emerging about where and how God is with the bless’ed. In fact, one commentary recommends, in writing, to substitute “Blessed” with “God is with.” So this week’s Beatitude becomes “God is with those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Then, another commentary recommended replacing “righteousness” for “what God wants,” so it becomes God is with those who hunger and thirst for what God wants, for they will be filled. And then another commentary suggests that being filled is not like being filled after a meal, but rather, carb-loading before a run, turning this beatitude now into:
God is with those who fuel themselves with what God wants, for they will be made ready in the work they do.
But that might go too far. I don’t know, it might not go far enough! The question you might ask yourself this week is one that Scripture offers many answers to—what is it necessarily that God wants from us? What is righteousness and holiness in the wake of the incarnated Christ? Can we, too, incarnate Christ, and if so, should we, and how?
Some things to think about before Sunday. Actually, those questions are great ones to ponder every day, even on and after Sunday. It will be good to be in worship with y’all, especially as we install lay leadership (Officers! Elders! Deacons!) for 2017. I look forward to seeing you then.