Total Dependence

Text: Luke 6:20
Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
‘Blessed are you who are poor,
   for yours is the kingdom of God.
(NRSV)

I have often wrestled with this saying from Jesus.  To be honest with you, I often wrestle with a lot of what Jesus says.  I think that is because our culture is so vastly different from the ideals of the Kingdom of God.  Certainly, those who are poor in our culture are not the owners of “the kingdom.”  It is the rich that make the rules and push the leaders forward that they want in place.  The powerful lobby system which runs on money donated by the rich and powerful move their chosen leaders into strategic places like pieces on a chess board.

But, somehow, in God’s Kingdom, Jesus tells us, “blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”  Perhaps it is because the rich are so caught up in this earthly life that they have lost touch with God.  When you are in power, it is hard to submit yourself to God.  When you are in power, it is hard to turn your daily decisions over to God.  It is especially hard when God tells you to pray for your enemies, turn the other cheek, and that those who are rich in this life will find it all but impossible to enter into the life that is to come (see Matthew 5:44, 5:38, and Matthew 19:24)

Jesus once said that unless you become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of God (Matthew 18:3).  I used to think that he meant that we had to become “innocent”.  But I don’t think that anymore.  I think that he meant we must become “dependent” on God as little children are dependent on others to care for them.  Little children, left to their own devices, cannot survive.  They cannot feed themselves, they cannot turn on the heat when it gets cold, they cannot clothe themselves, they cannot provide their own shelter.  Little children are completely dependent on someone else for their survival.

It simply may be that the poor are more likely to depend on God for their daily living.  They may be more likely to turn their daily decisions over to God.  They may be more likely to have a more intimate relationship with God than those who have no needs or even wants in this world.  If that is the case, then perhaps it is not about the amount of money one has, having the Kingdom of God may be about living a life of total dependence on God’s love.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of giving forgive me when I do not look to you each day for guidance and direction in my life.  Help me to turn my life over to you in such a way that I become dependent on you for all things.  AMEN.

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