We live in a society that is intent on taking offense. A society that can’t handle a difference of opinion, or the pointing out an outright lie. A society that is more interested in dividing and separating people rather than seeing the humanity in another person. A society that desires to win at all costs where the ends justify the means. A society that doesn’t seem very interested in taking the effort to build trust.
It can be overwhelming. It can be debilitating. It can drive a person crazy.
It can, but it doesn’t have to.
My only strand of sanity in such a world is Jesus. I don’t mean that in a nice fluffy, theological way either. I mean that literally.
This past Sunday, our Gospel reading had Jesus telling us: “Blessed are you who are poor…Woe to you who are rich.” Society laughs at this. Didn’t Jesus get the memo about the American dream? Doesn’t Jesus understand that money is our idol that we worship?
Hmm. It’s almost as if Jesus knew this long ago. It’s almost as if Jesus knew our reaction before he stated those words. And then said them anyway. Just to ruffle our feathers. To see how we would react. Would we ignore him? Would we make excuses? Would we scapegoat and call others names in response?
Or would we listen and hear the Good News in such a message. The Good News that our stuff and our money doesn’t define us and our value. Blessed are you who are poor. Some of the most generous people I have every met are poor. People who have very little. And the little they have, they give away. Stuff and money just doesn’t matter that much. Blessed are you who are poor – money isn’t your god. Money is a hard task master – a demanding god. Blessed are you who are poor, you recognize who your God is.
Good News is around us – all around us. Sometimes it just takes looking and you will see it. It happens around us all the time. You can see it. You can hear it. You can feel it. Good News is the very fabric of life. Good News is a choice – we have been empowered by God to see the world around us in all its brokenness and sin. We have been empowered to see the world in its hate and fear. We have been empowered to see the world for what it is. And then to see God’s kingdom and how it is unfolding in our midst. Without that, nothing makes sense.