Jesus came preaching, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
He then healed everyone of everything in the great crowd.
Where there was once poverty, sorrow, weakness, and sin, there was now great beauty—kind of like the bouquet of flowers in the vase on our communion table.
He then climbed a mountain, sat down, and said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”—not, “the poor, who I just made rich”—just, “Happy are the poor… theirs is, [or ‘of them’] is the kingdom.” If you owned the kingdom, how could you be poor— rich and poor, sad and happy?
He said, “Blessed are those who mourn.” That is, “Happy are the sad.”
He said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” He taught that life is the sacrifice of the fittest, not the survival of the fittest.
He said, “Blessed are those thirsting for righteousness—not the righteous—but, those hungering and thirsting for the right.”
Why would he say this?
Didn’t he just make them right, and strong, and fit, and happy, and rich in spirit?
What could be wrong when everything seems so right?
What’s wrong with the flowers in the beautiful bouquet on the communion table?
Answer: They’re all dead… or good as dead.
They’re disconnected from their source: the sun, the root, the bush, and every other rose on the rose bush.
What’s wrong with the crowds that surround Jesus?
Answer: They’re all dead… or good as dead.
Research has revealed that everyone that had been healed that day… died.
St. Paul would argue that this was because they were already dead.
They were disconnected from their source and from each other.
They didn’t love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and they didn’t love their neighbor as themselves, for they didn’t know that their neighbor was themself.
In Matthew chapter four, Jesus healed everybody, except one body—his own.
Last week, we learned that a crowd can be a cancer, but the Kingdom is a body.
The Kingdom is the Body of Christ.
“The Good” is a body connected. “The Evil” is a body disconnected.
When we first gain this knowledge of evil and The Good (a body connected), we try to solve the problem by legislating love, as if Love were a law.
We label each other and tape each other together, like a paper man constructed with the envelopes that we talked about last week.
We say it’s the Body of Christ, but it’s an imitation Christ—an antichrist.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
To be forgiven is to forgive. Forgiveness is the River of Life.
If you cut (circumcise) an envelope (a soul) at both ends, it’s no longer a container of blessing, but a conduit for blessing.
A healthy vessel in a healthy body can constantly receive the River of Life for it constantly bleeds the River of Life (remember the life, the breath, the spirit is in the blood).
It’s constantly poor in spirit and exceedingly rich in spirit; constantly forgiving the life and constantly forgiven the life, for through it constantly flows that river.
To hold “your blessing” is to damn the river and damn the life.
To give “the blessing” is to constantly receive the Life and live your life.
A finger connected to a body is not less itself but more itself than one that is severed.
“Blessed are the pure in heart,” said Jesus.
Purity of heart is to will one thing: Love.
Love is a decision to bleed for your neighbor.
But Love is not a law. Love is the King. God is Love.
In every heart, in every envelope, in every soul, there is a throne.
When the King sits on that throne, the Body lives and moves in freedom, no longer constrained by law but animated by the Logos of Love.
Jesus is the King and we are his body.
How do we become his body? Does he eat us?
That’s how we do it; we break bodies and eat them.
How does he make peace, shalom, the Seventh Day rest?
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
That’s the seventh beatitude.
In Jewish thought, the eighth is an eternal seventh.
The eighth beatitude is also like the first and includes all in the middle.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs [or ‘of them’] is the Kingdom.”
The Body of Christ consists of open vessels that choose to bleed, one for another.
When one loves, it looks like the King of Glory nailed to a tree in a garden.
When all love, it is the garden city, the New Jerusalem, the Bride and Body of Christ.
Jesus is God’s judgment of Love, and he is our decision to love; Jesus is our righteousness.
Jesus is the Word of God that makes us in his own image.
He took bread and broke it saying, “This is my body. Take and eat.”
That’s how he does it: eat me; drink me.
If you were convicted by the Word because you weren’t poor in spirit, aren’t you now thinking, “I am rather poor in spirit, mourning a bit, meek, and hungry for the right”?
If you began thinking, “What’s wrong with me? I’m poor, weak, sad, and sinful…?”
Or perhaps, “What’s wrong? I left the crowd to follow the truth, but now I’m getting crucified…” Repent.
What’s wrong is what’s right.
Repent! It means, change your mind.
Repent! We are not billions of separate bodies; we are one body.
Repent! “Rejoice and be glad.”
It’s all working: “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
It will soon be all that is.
And when we’re “poor in spirit” together, we’re rich, even here, even now.