Blessed are the poor
Casper is an artist who busks outside the church. Working with acrylic on canvas, he sells his paintings, trying to raise enough money for somewhere to sleep each night. Sometimes he is successful, sometimes he is not.
Repeatedly, in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus speaks about the rich and poor. Again and again he returns to the idea of economic justice in the Kingdom of God.
How seriously do we take Jesus words?
Blessings and woes
He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
Looking at his disciples, he said:
‘Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
‘Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
‘But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
Luke 6:17-26 (NIVUK)