Rev. Peter Greiner
Sun 23 Dec
Jesus has begun His ministry. He has gone around Galilee and areas of darkness proclaiming that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Many would be familiar with such proclamations. The kingdom of the Egyptians is near. The kingdom of the Babylonians is near and about to over run us. The kingdom of the Persians is near and at our borders. And now Jesus’ words. “the Kingdom of Heaven” is near.
As Jesus proclaimed the kingdom many would ask, “We know about the Roman kingdom and the kingdom of Israel, but what does the Kingdom of Heaven look like. And more importantly what does a citizen of such a kingdom look like. Over the course of three chapters Jesus teaches His followers what a citizen of the kingdom will be like and what such a citizen can expect.
Such a citizen by the grace of God will be poor in spirit, will be meek, will be merciful, will be peacemakers, will face persecution. Many will shake their heads at such teaching. They will say it is impossible to be the citizens you desire us to be. And they are right. It is only by God’s grace and the work of our Redeemer on the cross that we can be the citizens God desires us to be. Are there beatitudes you are struggling with? Ask God for His grace.