Can You See the Kingdom?

A few months ago I was talking to Ann, our administrative coordinator in our Department. Ann was teaching the first Beatitude that night--"Blessed are the poor in spirit"--at church to a class of children. Ann was asking me what it means to be "poor in spirit" and how one might communicate that to children.

My response was this.

Jesus wasn't saying that we should be poor in spirit. Jesus doesn't say "be poor in spirit." Jesus says the poor in spirit are blessed. No doubt we should be poor in spirit, but I don't think Jesus's message in the Beatitudes is moral.

What Jesus is telling us in the Beatitude is where the Kingdom of God is located. And it's located Jesus says, among the poor in spirit.

So your job isn't to be poor in spirit. There are plenty of people who are already poor in spirit. Your job is to see that the poor in spirit--those who because of their marginalized status in the world come to depend upon God--are blessed, as the location where the Kingdom of God is to be found.

Christianity, I said to Ann, isn't fundamentally about morality. Christianity, I said, is fundamentally about learning to see.

That is what Jesus said, over and over.

The Kingdom is near. The Kingdom is at hand. The Kingdom is in your midst.

But the Kingdom is small and unnoticed, like a mustard seed. Hidden, like a treasure buried in a field.

The Kingdom is right in front of us. Right here. Right now.

The Kingdom of God is in your midst.

Can you see it?

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