Daily Devotional is a ministry of the Living Church.
View this email in your browser

Daily Devotional • May 2

Ben Hankinson
Celebrating the Kingdom
A Reading from the Gospel of Luke 6:12-26

12 Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

17 He came down with them and stood on a level place with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.18 They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases, and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
  for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now,
   for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven, for that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich,
    for you have received your consolation.
25 “Woe to you who are full now,
    for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
    for you will mourn and weep.
26 “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”

The Beatitudes exalt those who at face value don’t stand much of a chance in this world, along with a warning against those who seem to have already won according to those same worldly standards. Jesus’ proclamation doesn’t make immediate sense, because in his day, as in ours, the strong in might, position, money, and influence typically triumph over the weak, the unemployed, the poor, and the powerless. 

To think or act otherwise is perceived as folly, and as Christians we are invited to rejoice at such foolishness. We celebrate that the kingdom of God will never fit in any box built according to the rules of this world. That’s because the kingdom is not what we want it to be or what we choose to make of it. It is what God has commanded it to be, a kingdom which is folly to those around us because it is predicated on the truth that through the cross life rises from death. 

That truth is so inconceivable that many can scarcely contain themselves and their laughter, or pity, or scorn, or malice. In those times, when we are tempted to draw back for fear that we are too foolish, we remember, “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.” 

The Rev. Benjamin Hankinson is the Director of Admissions for Nashotah House Theological Seminary and Priest in Charge of St. James in West Bend, Wisconsin. Originally from South Carolina, he has also served parishes in the Diocese of Springfield.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

The Diocese of Central Solomons – The Anglican Church of Melanesia
Saint James School, Hagerstown, Maryland
Subscribe to Daily Devotionals

Forward to a Friend

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Our mailing address is:
The Living Church
P.O. Box 510705
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Add us to your address book

Copyright © 2023 The Living Church, All rights reserved.