Hungry for the Messianic Meal
By Kris Judd of Kansas City, MO, USA
Sing praises to the Lord, O you faithful ones, and give thanks to God’s Holy name. …Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. —Psalm 30: 4–5 NRSV, adapted
“Blessed” is defined differently by different people. I ask the middle-aged gentleman with scuffed shoes and frayed pants sacking groceries at the local store how he is. He responds with, “I’m blessed.” A woman whose biopsy comes back negative for cancer speaks the same words. And the young adult who is earning far more than she ever imagined for work she loves responds likewise.
Blessings range from mere survival to privileged wealth. In the passage from Luke, Jesus’ words of blessing reflect an intimate connection to God’s Spirit. They portray an understanding that blessedness is not connected to money, possessions, or even health. In fact, it is most often through our losses that we allow ourselves to become vulnerable. We make room for encounter so God may once again enter our lives.
The Message version of Luke 6:20–21 shares a portion of this passage with these words: “You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all. God’s kingdom is there for the finding. You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry. Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal. You’re blessed when the tears flow freely. Joy comes with the morning.”
The awareness of our need for God’s presence in our lives is the blessing. This definition, contrary to that of the world, rings true whether we have scuffed or polished shoes. It’s true when test results are healthy or not. And true whether one works full-time or is looking for work.
May our willingness to embrace our vulnerability as a gift bring us blessing that not only deepens our relationship with God but flows out of us to bless all those whose lives we touch.
Prayer for Peace
God of everything and nothing at all, help us realize we can be happy to lay nothing at your feet but our immeasurable love and works of peace.
Spiritual Practice: Spiritual Hunger
Jesus discerned hunger of body and spirit, and he fed them through a physical, verbal, and spiritual ministry of presence. In a time of listening prayer, ask God to help you discern physical or spiritual hunger of people in your congregation, community, and global family. Invite the Spirit to move you to one hospitable act that “feeds” someone’s hunger today.
Today, God, I will let go of filling space. I will leave room for the breeze to blow and the eye to rest.