Perhaps it is only coincidental that today ~ Fat Tuesday ~ I have been reminded of another contrast. One of my FB friends posted a link this morning to a podcast where Tim Keller shares some reflections of living in God's Kingdom.
In the podcast, Keller takes us to the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Luke. It is there that Jesus holds up the values of the world in contrast to those embraced by those who choose to live in His Kingdom. The essence of Keller's thoughts are summed up by this quote from author Michael Wilcock.
In the life of God’s people will be seen first of all a remarkable reversal of values (6:20-26). They will prize what the world calls pitiable, and suspect what the world thinks is desirable. Values which are taken for granted by other men are questioned by them, and are considered in the searching light of spiritual truth, hidden reality, and a future life. –The Message of Luke, pp 85-86
It is this very reversal of values that brings to light the blessedness Jesus speaks of in this passage. As Keller says, a blessedness that is impervious to weeping; that is increased in times of weakness. It is a spiritual truth that remains in stark contrast to what the world holds as truth. A hidden reality that allows those in His Kingdom to feel His blessing in the midst of weakness and sacrifice, grief and exclusion; without which, the future would have little hope of being redeemed.
I highly recommend that you brew a cup of tea or pour another cup of coffee and settle in to listen to Keller's words on The Community of Jesus.