Read: Matthew 5:1-12
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (v. 3 NIV)
In the first of the Beatitudes, Jesus says that those who possess spiritual poverty also possess the kingdom. As I have mentioned before, many of my friends with disabilities are aware, by necessity, of their own vulnerability and need. Often, this translates into recognition of their need before God. Many of my friends have the gift of spiritual poverty.
One beautiful thing about spiritual poverty is that it often translates into a spirit of welcome. People who sense their own need and God’s openhanded welcome to them become people who openhandedly welcome others. If the kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit, it will be a welcoming place—a place of true belonging.
One neighbor of mine exhibits this welcome daily. She loves to meet new friends and often sits on the porch just to say hello to every passerby. I once asked her why she isn’t nervous around strangers. “I don’t believe in strangers,” was her reply. This one-woman “welcome committee” makes newcomers feel like they belong right away. In her book, every person she meets truly does belong. With her ever-expanding circle of friends, it’s no surprise that her birthday parties boast over 100 people. What a blessing to the world that the kingdom belongs to the poor in spirit. —Amy Curran
Prayer: Jesus, teach us to know our poverty before you. Help us welcome your kingdom by welcoming your people.