The Good Life: An Upside-Down Life
We all want the good life. Advertisements and our entertainment-oriented world give us one definition of what it means to live the good life: wealth and ease, freedom from financial worry, great vacations, status, fame and recognition. It’s pretty hard to escape these messages since they bombard us constantly. Jesus talks often about the good life too, but he frames it in an entirely different way. Throughout the gospels, he talks about a life in God, a life lived in God’s Kingdom that has a completely different set of values, which include love and service, surrendering and offering oneself to God. The good life for us concerns the good that God desires, a life fueled by faith. When we live that kind of life, we long to know more of God and God’s will for ourselves. This is life that is God-focused, not self-centered, a life that considers the needs of others, the common good that God desires for us. A life like that brings ultimate fulfillment.
Sunday we read Jesus’ words from the Beatitudes. Here we read wisdom that is very upside-down compared to the rest of the world. Here in the Beatitudes, Jesus begins his most famous sermon, and says “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” These words reflect the life we are currently living. Many of us do feel poor in spirit or faith. We want more. Or we feel the faith we have isn’t strong or vibrant enough. Jesus says that poverty of spirit is actually a beginning point for receiving some great gifts from God. We simply need to recognize what’s missing to start. When we recognize how dependent we are on God and not our own strength, intellect or resources, then we begin to grow rich in the gifts God has to give to us. Sunday we worship God who knows what we most need and the best way for us to receive and live the good life.
Dave Summers, PhD
602.840.8360, Ext 131
P.S. Pick up a winter/spring 2018 Journeys small groups at PVUMC guidebook Sunday, and stop by the Learning and Living table on the patio before or after worship to browse through the Lenten study books the clergy are recommending for church-wide study. Which Way Lord? by Robert Fuquay costs $6. Renovate, which the Young Adults will follow beginning February 11, 2018 on Sundays at 12:30 pm in H1, costs $10. Guidebooks are free. Read More.
It’s time to plan the next stage of your journey and transformation.