Narrow is the Gate

God's word is hard. While it often brings me great comfort, at times it brings me great frustration as well. The reason is because I want to follow it. I want to do what it says. Rather than find the verses that fit me and my needs, I really want to live the entirety of God's message out. That is harder than anything I know. Often times it has me looking around and wondering if anyone is trying to do the same. Then I feel lonely.

We had a retreat for our Singles group last weekend, and we studied parts of the Sermon on the Mount. When I came home Sunday night I decided it would be my goal to read through these passages again and again nightly for the next month. As I read Jesus' words I would then try to live them out. I'd pick a verse, pray on it, and then do it.

But it only took me till verse 3 to get disappointed. Matthew 5:3 says:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

The first words out of Jesus' mouth - his opening statement - is too tough for me. I can't hardly even go on to the next verse although its a bit more comforting:

"Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted."

In a country where things like laughter, ambition, and self-confidence are the esteemed values, it's hard to think that there is any room for humility, meekness, or mourning. In fact, the more I read the Sermon on the Mount, the more I think it goes counter to everything I've ever learned in life.

Yes, that's why it's a revolutionary lesson. But sometimes we leave it as that. Revolutionary. I don't want too. I want to live it.


Alisha said...

I've been thinking about some similar stuff lately. It seems like a lot of people want to make the Christian life all shiny and happy. We talk about the peace of God and comfort from God -- and rightfully so -- but a lot of the time we overlook the fact that we need God's peace and God's comfort because, in all honesty, things are a mess. Sometimes I feel like that as a Christian, God should take care of me. But my idea of being taken care of and His idea are not often in sync.

Sorry to ramble on, but I guess you struck a chord. :)

Gabe said...

Consider Luke's sermon the plane

"Looking at his disciples, he said: 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.'"
-Luke 6:20

We ain't got no poor in spirit here, just the poor period.

Good post, good thoughts.


ann said...

I like The Message interpretation, especially in Luke.

Matt-- You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

Luke-- You're blessed when you've lost it all. God's kingdom is there for the finding.