Jesus begins in the Sermon on the Mount by affirming
that everyone in his audience is called, loved, powerful,
and valuable. This was remarkable in his day because
the religious people in Jesus' day liked to say some
people are out and some people are in, and the way
that you get in is by doing things the right way and not
being sick. People like lepers and people with bleeding
diseases were believed to be cursed by God because
of a sin of their parents. There was this system in place
where some people were in, and some people were out.
Jesus comes on the scene in the Gospel of Matthew in
Chapter 5, and he begins with the beatitudes in which
he says that everyone belongs. He begins by saying
"blessed are the poor in spirit." Don't misunderstand,
being poor in spirit is not a virtue. Poor in spirit means
you're spiritually bankrupt. Blessed are you if you mourn.
Blessed are you if you've been a doormat your whole life.
In Luke, he says blessed are you if you're poor, if you're
persecuted, if you're unwanted, if you're uninvited. Jesus
says to these people you are called, you are loved, you
are light, you are salt.
Dear God, thank you for accepting me. Even through my
weakness, illness, and sin, I am loved by you and the
salt of the earth.
REFLECTION: If you were there in Jesus day, do you
think you would be in or out?
(Pastor Bobby Schuller)