The Way of Fools {a hillside sermon}

Jesus blesses the deprived. Jesus blesses the ones hanging on for dear life and scrapping to get by, the ones who can’t stop the tears, the ones who’ve been tamed (by either life or love), the ones who ache for the good and (world as it is) have the courage to ache on and on. This is good news. Sooner or later, we’ll all find ourselves hopeless or helpless, washed out or broken down. And right in that place (not after we emerge chipper on the other side), the Kingdom of God meet us. And blesses us.

As Jesus continues his runaway blessings, he moves to another crowd of people. If, up to now, we can say that Jesus has blessed the deprived, perhaps we could say that next Jesus turns to bless the attuned, the ones acutely aware of others, aware of God, aware of the truth about themselves. They live with eyes wide-open, no illusions, no denial, no too-easy faith. They see what is, but they see God more.

Seeing what God sees will always exact a price. There’s a reason why Jesus said we should count up the costs before we follow. If we follow Jesus, it means we’ll be walking into the places where pain lives, taking on the pain, inviting another’s sorrow into our own bosom. This is not the for the faint of heart. There’s good reason to say, thanks, but no thanks. This is the Jesus-path — and Jesus was crucified on a cross.

These attuned ones are those who have the nerve to give themselves away, even if it will cost them dearly (and it will). And while we think such people are noble, we rarely consider them worldly-wise. They’re the bleeding hearts, the idyllists, the ones we’ll give a wink and a pat on the back – but we all know won’t really get anywhere. We wouldn’t call them blessed, at least not in any real way that matters. They’ll get trampled on — but at least they’ll smile while it’s happening, probably saying a prayer. What a shame. Such potential gone to waste.

It’s a foolish thing to commit to love and follow Jesus into the treacherous places Jesus goes. But then, the Kingdom of God has always been, by the reckoning of this world, the way of fools.

image: spaceshoe

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