“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3.
Jesus tells us two types of people receive the kingdom of God: the poor in spirit and those persecuted for righteousness sake. It makes sense. Both the humbled and the righteous have a hard time blending in.
They are the ones crouched over in their condition. ‘Crouched‘ is the literal translation of poor. “Blessed are the crouched in spirit.” They are the ones whose pride is destitute. Whose power spent. They are needy and they know it.
So they beg. and beg. and beg. Beggars pleading for another breath of life.
Jesus calls them blessed. Blessed beggars.
Am I one?
Not when I justify myself, standing tall in my self-righteousness. Not when I take account of wealth, learning, position, and blog stats. Not when I live obsessed with what I possess, what I know, who I know. All my obsession with self only makes me rich with fool’s gold.
I long to be obsessed with my need for Jesus, crouching in desperation at his feet. Like the Marys did. Mary with her poured out treasure of perfume. Mary with her spilled over life of tears. Yes, both Marys leaned into the poorness of their own souls to receive of the riches of Christ’s love. Blessed beggars they were.
I listen on the phone as a friend, through the thickness of grief, describes the weight of what looks to her like failing at life. Her tone is destitute, her words are weak. They are the echoed sounds of every beggar. I hear Jesus too. He says, “It’s okay. I will do for you what you can’t. Let your failures find you crouching at my mercy.”
The invitation of this first day of Lent is for us too to crouch at Jesus’ feet with nothing to give except the pleas of our begging and begging and begging for more of his life to be received in us. Blessed beggars we can be.
I’m joining Margaret for the #LentChallenge of reading the New Testament in forty days. Will you join us? Today’s reading is Matthew 1-7.