No, sorry I don’t know. This is not an answer.
The other day while doing the dishes, which amazingly, need done again, already. It’s like they just won’t stay clean. Anyway, the other day while doing the dishes, I listened to a podcast from Mars Hill Bible Church, the church where Rob Bell is pastor at.
Are you familiar with Rob Bell? He wrote books like Sex God and Velvet Elvis and does the Nooma series of videos. I don’t agree with him 100% on theological issues (have you ever met someone you do?) but I really respect his manner of thought. I find his church’s sermons very thought provoking, and they have some interesting guest speakers. A few of my favorites* were someone who spoke out against the sex trade, a Catholic priest on mourning and death, another person on the theology of the cell phone, and my favorite was Donald Miller in one entitled “Story.”
To be honest, the MHBC podcasts have been piling up in my iTunes over the last couple years, collecting dust. I noticed that about a year and a half ago they did a series on the Sermon on the Mount¹, which is what we are covering in my church right now. So I thought I’d give it a listen.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3
Now that’s a verse I’ve heard interpreted a million different ways, and most of those ways have bounced of me like water off of a duck’s back. Most had to do with the virtue of being poor in spirit, which let me tell you, the times I have felt poor in spirit (and their have been times), I certainly didn’t feel very virtuous. Quite the opposite in fact.
Bell had an alternative suggestion that has really stuck with me. I’ll summarize:
It has nothing to do with what is good about being poor in spirit. It has everything to do with who God is.
It is so easy to read the Bible and think “okay, so this is about me, right? What’s in it for me?” and forget that it is about God and who God is. There is no explanation for why the poor in spirit deserve to be blessed, because being poor in spirit isn’t exactly awesome. The point is, we have a God who blesses the poor in spirit.
Because that’s just the kind of God he is.
It’s not just talking about us, it’s talking about God and who God is. A good reminder for me to seek God in all things.
*the podcasts I pointed to are archived and cost $2 but ones posted in the last 12 weeks are free.