Mike Paget and Erica Hamence explore what it means to be "poor in spirit" and how the empty-handed find fullness in the kingdom of God.
Today we begin our series on the Beatitudes, as millions of Christians around the world begin Lent by marking Ash Wednesday.
In our first teaching, we hear from Mike Paget and Erica Hamence – Anglican ministers from Barney's in Sydney – as they explore with us how the empty-handed find fullness in the kingdom of God, how good fortune is not measured in material wealth, and how our love for others extends directly from the heart of God, as we partner in his redeeming work in this world.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"
The ‘poor in Spirit’, those who are poor, oppressed by the rich and powerful, the needy, the humble, the lowly, the pious. Those who are so helpless that they are dependent on God alone, empty handed, waiting for God to deliver them.
God cares passionately for the poor and in other parts of the bible commands the rich and powerful to be generous and careful that they don’t abuse their power. Jesus lived this concern for the poor, he spent time with the social and religious outcasts and in this Beatitude he announces God’s blessing and deliverance for those in need – for theirs is God’s Kingdom!
Over the next eight weeks as we walk with Jesus to his death and resurrection, we will treasure the Beatitudes (you may want to try to memorise them). Listening to Jesus words while remembering his sacrificial death, we hope to be refreshed in our vision of Jesus’ Kingdom and to learn again of what he has done, is doing and will do!
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Daily Readings: Feb 14 - Feb 18
Throughout Lent we will be providing you with daily readings relating to each of the Beatitudes. This week, we're reflecting on what Jesus is teaching on being poor in spirit through the following passages:
|Wed, Feb 14||Matthew 4:23-5:2 (what’s happened before Jesus speaks his Beatitudes)|
|Thu, Feb 15||Exodus 24:12-18 (some different up a mountain action)|
|Fri, Feb 16||Matthew 5:3 (our Beatitude for this week)|
|Sat, Feb 17||Isaiah 41:17-20 (what might Jesus be echoing?)|
|Sun, Feb 18||Mk 12:38-44 (how did Jesus treat the poor?)|
Spiritual Practise: Memorise the Beatitudes
Memorising the Beatitudes is a powerful way of engaging with this beautiful teaching of Jesus and taking it into yourself. Imagine if in eight weeks time you could say these scriptures to yourself in full from memory. Why not commit to the challenge?
We've designed this wallpaper for your desktop or you could print it out & stick it on your fridge or bathroom mirror to help you memorise these verses. You could also use a tool like this to help you get started.
With Your Church: Share the journey
We'd love to have your church journeying with us through this Lent series. If you are a leader in your church, consider sharing this video in your services, small groups or on your Facebook. If you're not a leader in the church, you could have a conversation about The Beatitudes with someone this week and invite them to take part in the series so you can engage in the topic together!
Erica Hamence and Mike Paget are ministers at Barneys in Broadway, Sydney. Erica is also a member of the Common Grace domestic and family violence team.