Recap: Which Kingdom? Attitudes or Beatitudes?

upsidedown.250w.tnYesterday we began Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount with His introduction. He paints a picture of an alternative Kingdom that is upside down, backwards, and turned around from the kingdom of this world. “Blessing has come” to those whom the world would not called “blessed.” This is the meaning of “Beatitude,” from the Latin word beatus, meaning blessed.

Living by the kingdom of this world and its rules results in egos and attitudes. Too often we even see those of us who call ourselves disciples, members of Christ’s Body, the Church, slipping into this cycle of self-centeredness, resentment, and entitlement. So, let’s review and reflect on what this false reality looks like. How might we slip into this list of our own culture’s worldly attitudes? This is my list. I’d be interested to hear if you combat other attitudes that counter the calling of Jesus:

  • Happy are the self-sufficient. Make something of yourself, because you can do anything you set your mind to.
  • Happy are the apathetic. If you can put up emotional walls and boundaries you won’t ever need to be comforted.
  • Happy are the loud, strong, dominant, uninhibited, and unyielding. This is the only way to conquer the earth, and it’s there for the taking.
  • Happy are those who have the means to satisfy every craving. Hungry? Why wait?
  • Happy are the unmerciful. It’s a dog eat dog world. Nothing personal, it’s just business.
  • Happy are those that “follow their heart,” which may mean following something new every hour. After all, absolute truth is a narrow-minded prison. Do whatever makes you happy.
  • Happy are the warmongers, fear mongers, anxiety producers, and stress causers. After all, “am I my brother’s keeper?” It’s hard enough looking out for me and mine.
  • Happy are those who are free of persecution, because let’s face it, that just hurts and I will not be violated.
  • Happy am I when others learn what happens if you insult me. I don’t care how you treat anybody else. You’ll learn that doesn’t fly with me.

Jesus offers another way. This is the invisible Kingdom which has come into our visible world, offering blessing to those who the world would not typically see as “happy” or blessed:

Matthew 5:3-12 (New International Version)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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