For those of you who couldn’t make this past Sunday’s Converge here are my notes.
We’re in a series following some ‘wise sayings’ from Jesus found in the first book of the New Testament called Matthew. On this particular Sunday our community explored Matthew 5:5 .
First off I want to highlight how blessed I am to gather with our communities. Coming into our third year we’re starting to develop as a unit driven to have a marked impact on our community.
When we gather we do so to celebrate what God is already doing in our midst; inside our communities and also in the places we’re not active. God is at work because that is his character—he is a sending God—continually reaching into the history of humanity. (Just take a read of any of the big stories and this theme is noticeable repetitive.)
The character of God is one that exhibits a depth of love that seeks to reconnect with humanity and usher in what’s called the ‘Kingdom of God’. That’s a fancy label for God’s ultimate dream of: putting the world to rights.
This dream/intent is glimpsed all through Scripture but is ultimately inaugurated in Jesus Christ. The greatest disconnect (death) was defeated on the cross through resurrection.
Christ starts the unraveling of God’s ultimate dream, but that dream is not yet fulfilled.
From the resurrection until today, we exist in what I call the, ‘now but not yet’. That is the Kingdom of God inaugurated and glimpsed now but that dream not yet fulfilled.
Implications for you and me right now? i think it has to do with the purpose of our churches and how we become participants in the now and previews of the not yet.
Question: how does participation and previewing look in your life?
The thing about Christians is that we tend to want to be different, but what happens is we’re different for silly reasons. Don’t swear, don’t go see bad movies, don’t listen to rap music, don’t drink, don’t vote liberal.
Those might be the wrong things to be known for.
I certainly advocate being radically different, but I don’t think radically different is a complex set of rules, but rather a gospel so simple that a child can comprehend it–a life of radical love.
We’re called to be radically different than the world but for the right reasons, reasons clearly rooted in characteristics God approves. We find some of those radical characteristics in the Matthew 5.
This particular post deals with Matthew 5:5 – meekness.
Now many of you have heard of different interpretations of what meekness means.
Weak, pictures of a scrawny kid, push over, wiener, etc .
That’s not what Jesus had in mind.
Meekness in this context means being someone who doesn’t think too highly of themselves.
Meekness is countercultural. Our world places high value on things like self-confidence, self-worth, loving the self. This is observed in the rapid rise in narcissistic traits in people young and old. Social media certainly hasn’t helped the notion of loving the self……just see how many friends you have that have 200+ friends and 1000+ pictures. (Not saying they are necessarily a narcissist thought…..)
Facebook is a public example where you can observe someone with not just overconfidence, yet overconfidence to the point they think they can do no wrong.
Meekness goes in the opposite direction; a characteristic where one is not overly impressed by self-importance.
Here’s the connection to it all.
Developing a character of meekness is a way of participating in the now and yet also previewing the not yet.
Note in the second part of verse 5 how it talks about, “…they shall inherit the earth”? To put it simply, meekness is a characteristic of those who have the hope of, and fully inherit, God’s Kingdom.
So we’re left off with two questions (in service we stopped and broke off into groups and chatted with each other):
Regarding putting meekness/humility in practice:
1) What are you doing now?
2) What idea do you have to take a step towards these traits in your context?