17 He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them. 20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
‘Blessed… Luke 6:17-20
‘Blessed… Luke 6:17-20
Life has been feeling a little messy lately. In the world we have earthquakes and floods, bombs and explosions, five killed in a shooting … These are just the news stories. They don’t even reflect the mess that we may be experiencing in our lives. We are worried about sick parents, children, friends. We wonder if our spouse, our brother, ourselves will ever find a job; especially, a job that pays the bills but also uses our talents. Maybe there is a part of your life that just never seems to go right (money, a marriage that isn’t working, an addiction that keeps rearing its head, a family member that keeps trying to fix us, drama at our jobs or school). It doesn’t seem to matter what you say, how you act, what you do; it seems to go wrong. And so we try to manage the chaos, to manage the mess by imposing order where we are able. But the chaos is always there just beneath the neat surface.
Starting this month we are going to look at the ways Jesus wants to bring beauty in the midst of the messes of our lives. How Jesus wants us to follow him out of our comfort zone of managed chaos and into the mess. Luke 6:17-34, the Sermon on the Plain recounts one of Jesus’ teaching moments where he challenges people to reconsider their belief and the way they look at the world. He calls on people to love their enemies, to bless those who curse them, to feel blessed when they are hated. He calls on people to forgive, forgive, forgive. He invites people to love the unloveable and be merciful. He wants us to turn ourselves away from how the world lives and enter into a new way of life. Messes can be quite ugly and its why we want to hide or run from them. When we enter the mess and open up to Jesus, the mess can become beautiful possibilities of healing, transformation, and wholeness.
I invite you to the beautiful mess that is the opportunity for the kingdom of God to shine forth in our lives.