Pause

God sure does have a different way of doing things.

Maybe God is trying to turn our upside-down world right-side-up.

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Listen

“Happy are people whose lives are harassed because they are righteous, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

“Happy are you when people insult you and harass you and speak all kinds of bad and false things about you, all because of me. Be full of joy and be glad, because you have a great reward in heaven. In the same way, people harassed the prophets who came before you.”

Matthew 5:10-12

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Think

A tough thing about these “beatitudes” is that we’re required to identify with them — but who is going to be vulnerable on Facebook and say, “Hi, everyone! I’m poor in spirit!” or “I’m sad because people have been saying false things about me!”? No, we want others to think we’re extraordinary: “Hi, I’m great! I’m revered by many! Can’t you tell by what I post on social media? — I’m happy and successful!”

The blessing here is that, even when we don’t share on Instagram the whole story of how our hearts ache, God’s Spirit knows and is present with us, even in our deepest concern. Even when we’re ridiculed for following Jesus into the ways of righteousness, peace, and care for the poor and oppressed.

The Gospel isn’t helpful for those who are rich and want to be richer, or for the powerful who want more power. The absurdity of the Gospel is that it’s good news for those who need good news.

Erin Spengeman Hutchison

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Pray

God, I want to follow in the way of Jesus — the righteous, peaceful, justice-seeking way of Jesus. This is not easy, so please give me your strength today as I take each step. Amen.

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Go

Today, join God in turning the world right-side-up, one decision at a time.

Erin Spengeman Hutchison

Rev. Erin Spengeman Hutchison is a Baptist pastor and has worked with youth for nearly 20 years. She loves to preach, laugh, and listen to Bruce Springsteen. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and has a super cool husband, two awesome kids, and a crazy dog named Cricket.

Stillness

Carter Harrell

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