to be blessed
Poverty, Blessings, Afterlife
Notes, Outline, Sketch
Blessing as bodily
requirements, from Creation onward
- God created, provided blessing upon blessing: clean air, clean water, food aplenty, clothing as needed, shelter sufficient,
- In many and various ways through the generations, people of God understood that these necessities of life were blessings from God.
Mistakenly turned blessings
from gifts into evidence, that only those with abundance are
blessed, others not.
- Justified injustices, ignoring suffering, entitlement
Luke: Blessing to the common
- poor, hungry, weep, reviled on J account
- This is the corrective that Liberation Theology brought/brings to any theology, entitlement theology, prosperity theology … which claims that abundance in this life is a sign of blessing and lack is a curse.
- The poor, hungry, mourning, reviled will receive all they need.
We make another Mistake: turned
on it’s head:
- that only those who lack are blessed and
- either that the rich are completely lost and unwelcomed in the KoG or
- that nothing in this world matters
This last leads off again to
- God will provide, rich need only enjoy for they are obviously blessed
poor, hungry, homeless,
mourning, reviled deserve their circumstance,
- others need do nothing to provide for their want.
- should keep prosperity gospel for persisting or the rich finding an excuse not to share their blessings with those in need:
- Woes: rich, full, laughing, spoken well of
- those without will be provided for in abundance
- those with over abundance now, will have nothing
- Corrective of Liberation Theology, God has a preferential option for the poor
Then a further mistake we too
Since again all on this earth
is nothing, everything that counts will be in life after death.
- We can either suffer injustice quietly
- or We can allow others to suffer injustices quietly
- Since again all on this earth is nothing, everything that counts will be in life after death.
Rather for Jesus, No excuse for
injustices, for not sharing what we have with those in need
God created, said it was good.
- Good includes air, water, food, clothing, shelter
God intends for all people to
enjoy the basic necessities of life
- those with over abundance: an extra responsibility to provide for those without.
- Luke: ‘Or else, woe to them’ very real!
- God created, said it was good.
- What then is the blessing that Jesus provides to the common, poor, hungry, mourning, reviled people gathered on the plain?
Soelle provides an addition to the necessities of life:
- meaningful labour
- love: an ability to love and the opportunity to be loved.
- Jesus’s blessings, for those without air, water, food, clothing, shelter, is for the afterlife:
More pointedly Jesus does not
just promise that they will receive abundance, their fill, and
laughter in the afterlife: they will receive it here in this life.
Theirs is the KoG, here and
- They are blessed in ways beyond the physical necessities of life:
- They are blessed perhaps with meaningful labour
They are blessed perhaps with
the ability to love and to be loved, and to know it
- People do not live by bread alone, but by the Word of God
- That Word: calls us to a vocation: a meaningful work for our lives
- That Word calls us to a love: a love as God gives to us: a love for neighbour, self, and all others: especially our enemies; and to love God with all our heart mind and strength.
- Theirs is the KoG, here and now
Common, Poor people on the
plain are blessed, not just with the physical necessities of life,
but the living water of life, water that never runs dry:
- which is to love God with all our hearts, minds and strength, ourselves, our neighbours, and especially our enemies
does this mean for us?
- Promise: God is for us: poor or rich, hungry or fed, mourning or joyful, reviled or spoken well of
A Call to rich, fed, joyful,
- to be good stewards of blessings given us, they are for us to be able to share them with others
- to provide care for the hungry, mourning, reviled
- warning: that being rich can bring us to reject God’s claim on us.
As always: God claims us as
God’s children, not based on the abundance of our blessings, gifts
given by God to us;
- God claims us, poor or rich, hungry or fed, just or unjust, loving or not,
- God claims us by Grace
- Question is how can we respond:
- Wise to know the water that we are planted into: the living water of Jesus, that Jesus gave the Samaritan woman at the well
While other waters can dry up,
and we are drying up qualifiers the world over with our over
consumption, Jesus’s love, grace, and wisdom never run dry.
- And it always keeps surprising us: with change we do not welcome, with challenges we may not want
- but also with rewards we could not imagine were possible
- For with God all things are possible.