Thursday, May 5, 2011

What does this look like?

So what does this mean for me, ie, Jesus’ disciples today? Insofar as it’s a description, it requires a paradigm shift—to find joy (and become a person that can find joy) in my meekness or peacemaking or when there’s an opportunity to show mercy, to know that I am blessed because of it and ask God to use it to make me into a citizen of his Kingdom. But it’s also a prescription, I think, in that if the choice comes up “ be merciful or don’t be merciful,” I think it says, if you want to obtain mercy, if you want the reward in the Kingdom of which you are a true citizen, you will choose to be merciful. But for the more negative things, should I choose to mourn or try to figure out how I can be more persecuted? That’s trickier because the worldly self so actively says, “No!” that it’s hard to know if it’s also the Kingdom self speaking. But as Bonhoeffer would say, mourning or being persecuted in themselves have no redemptive value at all, the only thing that matters is following Jesus. So for me this would mean, in my mourning, seek Jesus, and rejoice because (even if my mourning is itself for completely unspiritual reasons, unsought, and not for his sake at all) I know that it affords me an opportunity for me to seek him and cry out to him and enrich my experience of his mercy and goodness because I WILL be comforted. And if someone else is mourning and I have the choice to go into their lives and join them in it, I can also take that opportunity and rejoice in it for the same reason (and even more, cause it’s not my mourning!) So I seek to follow Jesus when it means choosing to mourn, and I seek to follow Jesus when I’m mourning because I can’t help it, and in both am blessed.

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