The Beatitudes - Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
I love the Beatitudes.
They are deeply challenging moral pointers and quite counter-cultural.
I am also of the opinion that most Christian churches do their level best to ignore them in their entirety.
I have in the back of my mind an idea to write a book about the Beatitudes and how they are still important in the post-modern world. I will definitely do that one day.
But if you'll indulge me, I'd like to explore the Beatitudes one by one and tell you what they mean to me.
Let's start with #1 - Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Right from the start this is a radical statement.
Really, it's "wtf?" kinda material.
So many people struggle to explain this one, and yet here it is, the first thing Christ chose to tell everyone whilst delivering his biggest and most important sermon.
What's so great about being poor, in spirit or otherwise?
I think that this is an injunction to be humble, to never imagine that you possess the spiritual answers. The moment we think we are gifted in knowledge or spiritual advancement we become arrogant and we start pointing the finger and seeking to exclude others. Better we remain humble, and acknowledge our own spiritual failings, our own constant inability to measure up to even the most basic spiritual commandments, of whatever tradition.
Those who think they don't know are the ones who'll learn the most.