Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Beatitudes 1

Last week in Zac's we started a study of the beatitudes (the bit in the sermon on the mount where Jesus says, 'Blessed are those etc').

The first one is: Blessed are those who are poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. I've set myself the task of writing something each week to go along with the verse we're looking at so last week I wrote this:

I am spiritually bankrupt.

The store of good deeds I keep under the bed is all used up.

The brownie points in the safety deposit box have been declared null and void.

Even my secret numbered Swiss bank account, the repository for my gold stars, has been closed for lack of deposits.

I have nothing.

So I am blessed.

But even as I write this I wonder, do I really believe it?

That there is truly nothing I can do?

Isn’t there a bit of me that thinks surely the patience I used in my dealings with my boss must be rewarded?

God must be watching me when I insist on fairtrade tea.

My generosity must earn me a better seat at the feast.

It must.

And isn’t that easier to accept?

That I can earn if not my way then at least a trouble-free passage into heaven.

An ABC of boxes to tick.

Didn’t swear when provoked by a stupid man driver: tick.

Did make extra effort to deal gently with my mother-in-law: tick.

Did make time for a friend when I didn’t really have time: tick.

Didn’t feel proud of myself for that act of nobility: cross.

And I find myself again at the cross, aware that even these superficialities of behaviour don’t even scratch the surface of my sinful self.

And at the cross I kneel,

Head bowed, empty handed, acknowledging my need

Wanting to believe

Wanting to accept

Wanting to be accepted

Wondering why it’s so hard to

Accept

Believe

That I can be

Accepted

Forgiven

Loved.

Not through me

But through you

In whom my treasure lives.

2 comments:

Ann Marie said...

Beautiful Liz. I wish I could write from my heart, like you. Blessed are those who provide the words other hearts are looking for.

Liz said...

Thank you, Ann.