“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
During the holiday mad rush of department stores, Christmas parades, and the search for that next ‘new thing’ which will appear to make life new, fresh, and meaningful we can easily miss what's most important. One of the greatest gifts Jesus provides this side of eternity is a life-long "blessing" for those whom He refers to as being "poor in spirit." As Matthew recorded the ‘Beatitudes,’ which are the beginnings of Jesus’ well-known ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ we learn more of what Christ offers us not only during the Christmas season, but in all seasons of life. When Jesus speaks of those being “Blessed who are poor in Spirit,” He is referring to all who realize their need for and dependence upon Him for this life’s journey.
In our western culture we are among the most wealthy nations in the world, yet also in many ways impoverished spiritually. Our society elevates money, possessions, power, influence, and success above those who are downcast, the struggling, the outcast, and a sense of superiority above those whom they deem of a lesser class of people than themselves. This is the skewed view of a common love for our fellow man, the false sense of contentment, joy, and the happiness so many attempt to gain from worldly prosperity of many kinds. It is also the cause for further distance from the understanding of our desperate need for God, and why Christ Jesus came into the world.
Jesus came into the world that we would have life in Him, and have it to the fullest (John 10:10) through a personal relationship with Him. However, there are so many things of this world that are distractions, even ‘good things,’ but they can cause us to be blinded to our need for God and His provisions for every area of our lives. In referencing the second half of verse 3, “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” Christ leads those who are poor in spirit to consider the hope of eternal life, and moves them to faith and assurance along this journey with the promise of their heavenly inheritance.
For those who are poor in spirit their ultimate and eternal hope is in the kingdom of heaven, not of this world. As we begin this season to celebrate the birth of our Savior, there is so much of which we can demonstrate with a heart of gratitude for all our Lord has done for us in Christ. Even if we find ourselves walking a path of grief, suffering, or pain during this time we are promised by our Lord that “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
Connecting Faith & Life:
Father, thank You for the promise that when we are poor in spirit, the genuineness of our heart and spirit in dependence upon You, draws Your gaze. In this season of celebration, may we demonstrate kindness and love for our fellow man which comes through the love that You first showed us. May we find true peace and rest in You even as we walk through times of grief, suffering, or hardship as we realize you Bless those who are poor in spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.