Blessings and Woes

This Sunday’s gospel lesson, Luke 6:17-26, is one that should give people like me pause. Compared with nearly everyone in the world, I am rich. I can’t tell you the last time I was truly hungry and there has never been a time when I had to wonder about having a sufficient meal. I laugh more than I weep. And, for the most part, people seem to speak well of me. What am I to make of Jesus’ list of woes for people like me? People like us. Should we aspire to be poor, hungry, mournful, and hated? Do we just dismiss Jesus’ strong language as hyperbole?

I think we have to wrestle with it and let the scripture work on us. We’ll attempt to do that Sunday as we reflect on a scripture that isn’t read as often or as comfortably in worship as are Jesus’ blessings in Matthew 5. Matthew doesn’t include the woes. Luke, who showed from the start that God scatters the proud and lifts up the lowly (Luke 1:46-55), does. He has a message for us that’s important, if not always easy, to hear.

Join us Sunday to listen to God’s word and to let the Spirit work on us together.