"Blessed ared the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted"
Just last night we took our kids to see the new movie, "Frozen". It was Kai's second movie and Piper's first. We had no idea how they would do in the theater and apologized in advance to the cute young couple sitting a few rows behind us.
Shock of shocks. They did amazing. Especially Piper. She was absolutely mesmerized. She did not take her eyes of the screen for the entire movie.
Here are my pretty girls enjoying the movie!(the third head is a baby doll...)
Everything else fell away for her during this experience. Captivation of the beauty that she was seeing gave her tunnel vision. Even when her brother was acting obnoxiously(as he is wont to do) it never distracted her. There were only eyes for the Princesses Anna and Elsa!
The beauty of grace is mesmerizing. When we allow ourselves to look at it and experience it.
Jesus starts his teaching in Matthew not by saying "Keep being good folks, I am here to help". He says, Blessed are those whose lives are a mess, who are hurting, who are falling apart.
He doesn't say, you will be blessed because you are so faithful, because you have jumped through all the right hoops, because you said and thought the right things. Instead, right in the midst of your tragic experience He says you will be Blessed.
There are no qualifiers for Grace. There are no prerequisites for being loved.
This is mesmerizing. So much of our lives is shaped by seeking to "earn" what we get. Whether it is in jobs or relationships, we place value based on what we receive or what we give. This man made economy of valuation is a perversion of our very created selves. It turns us into objects to be plugged and played where it is convenient. Our worth constantly fluctuating based upon who is turning the gears of our life. Today I matter. Tomorrow I do not. When we do not meet someones expectations or self-centered desires, we are discarded.
Jesus cuts through all that and says, I love you, even when you hate me. Is it because He is trying to prove a point?
No, it is because He knows you in a way you do not know yourself. And your very inner workings are not; Employee "X", Mother "W", Wife "A", Child "C". You are His, wonderfully and lovingly crafted.
Underneath all the crap we pile on ourselves, He sees what is underneath even when we cannot.
When Jesus speaks to the crowds He is challenging everything they think they know about themselves and their lives. He says, you will be so loved and filled by Grace that in the midst of your suffering your heart will sing, "Blessed am I!" The world told them they had to earn it, be good enough, soldier on. Jesus says, "Just as you are, you will be blessed"
Being mesmerized by Grace(unmerited favor!) causes everything else to fall away. We are no longer defined by what is happening around us. Instead, we become filled by what we are being shown and what is being experienced.
Don't miss this. It wouldn't be a blessing, and it wouldn't be Grace if you earned it. If you were good enough, and had all your crap together, it would be an obligation we expect. We shouldn't expect it. We don't deserve it. We aren't good enough. That is why it is such a mesmerizing blessing.
Don't explain it, you can't.
Feel it, you can.